“So, let me get this straight…whatever debt we have, we have to split that down the middle for our divorce?”


And no.

Let me explain. First though, we need to start with something called “Equitable Distribution”. Here in Florida, when you divorce, equitable distribution means that, unless you had a prenuptial/postnuptial agreement that states otherwise, all the property and debts you had during your marriage are divided equally. Potentially. (Hang in there – don’t freak out yet.) There ARE some exceptions for property acquired before the marriage and inheritances, so stay tuned for more articles.

“Property” and “Debt”

Now, let’s look at “property” and “debts” when referring to divorce. Money, property, and benefits such as retirement accounts, deferred compensation, or profit-sharing fall under these definitions. Honestly, each of these topics on their own vary from case to case so, you’ll need to consult with an attorney to really define how this will work for your divorce. But since we’re talking about “debt” in a general sense, let’s tackle the biggest question we get…

“You mean to tell me that because my spouse opened up a credit card while we were married, racked up thousands and thousands of dollars that now I’M responsible for half of that?! You have GOT to be kidding me!”

I know. It doesn’t seem fair. And you’re right. That’s why mediation is important so we can really dive deep and tackle topics like this before getting to a judge. The credit card situation stated above is considered “reckless” and we’ve seen, numerous times, this issue be handled appropriately so one spouse isn’t “stuck” with wasted assets. Also, if your spouse has increased your debt with improper use of funds (think, anything shady,) you shouldn’t be held responsible since there are some exceptions such as fraud and dissipation. If this is something you’re in the midst of tackling, we’d love to discuss this topic with you. Please reach out to us at 407-757-2883.

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