Filing for bankruptcy is a complex process and becomes even more complicated when marital debt is involved. Marital debt refers to debts that were incurred during a marriage, and it can include anything from credit card debt to mortgage payments.
Understanding how marital debt is divided in Florida can be crucial for those filing for bankruptcy.
Marital Property vs. Marital Debt
Before discussing how marital debt is divided in Florida, it’s crucial to understand the difference between marital property and marital debt. Marital property refers to assets that were acquired during a marriage, while marital debt refers to debts that were incurred during a marriage. In Florida, marital property is divided through equitable distribution, while marital debt is also divided similarly.
Equitable Division of Marital Debt
Florida follows the principle of equitable distribution when dividing marital debt. This means that marital debt is divided fairly and equitably, which does not necessarily mean equal. The court considers several factors, including the financial situation of each spouse, the duration of the marriage, and the contribution of each spouse to the accumulation of the debt.
Exceptions to Equitable Distribution
While equitable distribution is the general rule in Florida, some exceptions exist. For example, debt that was incurred before the marriage or after the couple has separated is considered separate debt, and it’s the sole responsibility of the spouse who incurred it. Debt that’s incurred to preserve a non-marital asset, like a business or inheritance, is also considered separate debt.
Impact of Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy can complicate the division of marital debt in Florida. When filing for bankruptcy, the court will consider all debts, both separate and marital. Then they’ll determine which debts get discharged. This means that while filing for bankruptcy can eliminate certain debts, it can also make it difficult for the court to accurately determine the fair and equitable division of marital debt.
Seeking Legal Help
Navigating the division of marital debt in Florida can be complex. Seeking the help of a bankruptcy attorney is beneficial. An experienced attorney can help you understand the laws regarding marital debt and bankruptcy in your state. They’ll also help you devise a plan to ensure a fair and equitable division of marital debt during bankruptcy.
Filing for bankruptcy can be stressful, and the division of marital debt can make it even more complicated. Understanding how marital debt is divided in Florida is crucial when seeking a fair and equitable division of marital debt. By following the principle of equitable distribution, considering exceptions, and seeking legal help, you can navigate the complex process with ease.
Dealing with marital debt can be difficult. There are not only practical and financial issues involved, but you’re also dealing with emotions. For more information or to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696.