If your relationship with your spouse becomes contentious, you likely look to divorce as a way to untangle your life from theirs. Unfortunately, however, there are some aspects of your spouse’s lifestyle that may continue to affect you throughout the divorce process and beyond.
Debts incurred during the course of marriage present one such situation that can make the future somewhat uncertain. By understanding how your spouse’s debts will affect you, it will be possible to better prepare yourself for complex divorce discussions.
What happens to debts in a divorce?
Florida statutes on the distribution of marital assets and liabilities provide a process for achieving equitable division of property between spouses. These statutes describe marital debts as a liability subject to distribution. You might walk away from your divorce with the obligation to pay a share of your spouse’s outstanding debt, though the principle of equity provides that you would receive a fair share of valuable assets to offset the liability.
How should you prepare to handle debts ahead of time?
Untangling and distributing debt liabilities can add extra layers of complication to an already stressful divorce process. You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse might find common ground in working to clear away some or all of your outstanding debts before proceeding with the separation. Doing so can streamline certain parts of divorce proceedings and allow for a smoother transition into a post-divorce lifestyle.
Outstanding debts held by either spouse can affect the other by prolonging the process of dividing assets and liabilities as well as by potentially increasing the obligations the other party must fulfill after the split. Mediation can provide a solution for negotiating a debt repayment plan prior to moving forward with the divorce.