When Will One Spouse Assume More Marital Debt?
Florida operates as an equitable distribution state when it comes to divorce cases. This means that the court splits all marital assets and debts equitably, but not always equally. In certain situations, the court may be willing to assign more debt to one spouse over the other. If you are contemplating a divorce in Florida, you should speak to an experienced Florida divorce attorney about the possibility of being awarded more or less of the marital debts than your spouse. To schedule a free consultation with a skilled Boca Raton divorce attorney, contact the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg today.
It is important to note that the court splits all marital debt between spouses in a divorce, regardless of how that debt is titled, but separate debt is handled differently. All debt that a spouse entered into the marriage with, such as student loans, remains with that spouse after a divorce. All separate debt, like separate assets, are retained by that person under Florida law.
Instances of Adultery
One of the most common reasons for a court to allot more marital debt to one spouse over the other is when there is evidence that one spouse used marital funds or assets to pay for the expenses of an extramarital affair. If one spouse can show the court that the other spouse committed adultery, and marital assets/monies were expended on that affair, the judge in the case has a couple of options. The first is to award the injured spouse with a greater portion of the marital assets, and the second option is to punish the spouse that committed adultery by awarding the debt incurred by their actions specifically to them in the divorce.
Hidden or One-Sided Debt
Another situation where the court may award one spouse with more of the marital debt than the other is when one spouse hides or incurs a significant amount of the marital debt. Some of the most common examples of this include hidden gambling debts or credit card debt. The court might also award student loan debt that was incurred after the marriage to only one spouse if it can be shown that the other spouse had no opportunity to benefit from it in the marriage.
Significant Differences in Income
The last circumstance where the court may award more marital debt to one spouse over the other is when the incomes of each spouse are significantly different. In divorce cases where one spouse was the primary breadwinner and the other was the homemaker, the judge in the case may require that the wealthier spouse assume more of the marital debt in a divorce because of their capacity to pay it off, if the court determines same to be equitable.
Let Us Help You Today
To learn more about circumstances when a judge may award one spouse more of the marital debt than the other in a Florida divorce, call or contact the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg in Boca Raton today to schedule a free consultation of your case.