Countless issues and questions arise during a divorce. Who will keep the house? How will child custody be arranged? One question that many people are unsure about is how debts get handled. Will debts your spouse had prior to marriage now be yours to pay?
Florida laws pertaining to this issue are pretty clear-cut but do leave a bit of a gray area in some instances. It can be summarized in 2 parts.
Debts accrued before marriage
When questioning if you have to pay for your spouse’s debts, evaluate if the debt was one your spouse already had before you were married. Florida law mandates that any debt an individual had before entering the marital contract will belong solely to that party. The spouse is in no way responsible to repay that loan or debt. The gray area here can be if there are lines of credit your spouse had prior to the marriage. You may end up with debt repayment responsibility if you used that line of credit during the marriage, even if it is only in your spouses name. Say for instance that your spouse had a credit card that they allowed you to purchase a boat with that you will be keeping in the divorce. The court may order you to repay that loan since you will hold ownership in the purchase the credit made.
Non-marital debts are ones that were accrued during the course of the marriage but were used solely by one party. For instance, your spouse obtained a credit card in her name that was strictly used for business expenses. There would be no grounds for the court to separate this debt between both parties.