Divorcing couples in Florida are often worried about how the division of assets will work out. What they often forget about is the division of liabilities. In a divorce, couples have to figure out what they’re going to do about their shared debts, including mortgages and credit card debt. There are several factors that help determine who is liable for what debt after the split is finalized.

Location matters

The laws governing divorce vary from state to state. Florida is governed by common law, not community law. Community law states view any assets and liabilities accumulated during the marriage as the joint responsibility of both partners in the marriage. Common law goes more by whose name is on what card or contract. However, even this can become complicated when there is a second authorized user on a card that was issued in just one name.

Who’s responsible?

Judges do have some leeway in determining who is responsible for what debts. Even if someone is not technically listed on an account, the judge may view them as having accrued some of the debt and thus liable for it. However, this may not influence the way the actual creditors view the situation. Even if someone is excluded from responsibility in a divorce decree, credit cards may decide to pursue them.

In practical terms, the person whose name is on the credit card may still have to pay the debt if their ex-spouse refuses to abide by the language in the divorce decree. Luckily, the person who has been wronged may take their ex-spouse to court for non-payment. They have a chance of being reimbursed. When situations like this arise, it may be beneficial to seek help from an experienced attorney.