Debt can be overwhelming, especially when you’re not sure who is responsible for it. That’s why it’s important to understand the laws surrounding debt and marriage, especially when it comes to credit card debt in Florida.
Are you responsible for your spouse’s credit card debt? Or is your spouse responsible for yours?
Individual vs. Joint Debts
First, it’s essential to understand the difference between individual and joint credit cards.
If the credit card is in your name only, then you’re solely responsible for the debt incurred. However, if you and your spouse have a joint credit card, then both of you are equally responsible for any debt accumulated. This means that the credit card company can come after either one of you for payment.
It’s worth noting that authorized users on a credit card are not responsible for the debt incurred.
Florida is a Common Law State
It’s also important to note, that Florida is a “common law” state when it comes to marriage. This means that if one spouse incurs debt in their name, the other spouse is not legally responsible for it unless they cosign on the loan.
However, in the case of joint credit cards, both spouses are equally responsible for the debt. This is true even if only one of them incurs it. In other words, if one spouse spends more on the joint credit card than the other spouse can pay off, both spouses are still responsible for paying off the entire balance.
Marital Debt in Florida
There’s also something called “marital debt” in Florida. This refers to any debt that is incurred during the marriage for the benefit of the family.
This can include expenses such as:
- Car payments
- Credit card debt
Even if the debt is solely in one spouse’s name, both spouses are considered responsible for the debt incurred during the marriage. Therefore, if you’re facing credit card debt in Florida, it’s important to look at the bigger picture of your overall financial situation. This includes all debts and assets accumulated during the marriage.
Finally, Florida has unique laws when it comes to the division of assets in a divorce.
During a divorce, the court will divide the property and assets accumulated during the marriage between both spouses equitably. This means that the court will consider:
- Each spouse’s financial situation
- Contributions to the marriage
- Other factors when determining an equitable distribution of assets
This also means that any marital debts, including credit card debt, will be divided equitably between both parties, even if only one party incurred the debt.
It’s important to take action if you’re struggling with debt and to work with your spouse to develop a plan that works for both of you. Remember, communication is key, and it’s never too late to take control of your finances.
If you’d like to know more about how your spouse’s debt can affect you or you’re concerned your debt will affect your spouse, we can help. For more information, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.