AM I RESPONSIBLE FOR MY PARTNER’S CREDIT CARD DEBT AFTER MY FLORIDA DIVORCE?
When going through a divorce, it is necessary to distribute the assets and debts of the parties. Such division is subject to equitable distribution. In a divorce proceeding, equitable does not mean equal 50/50 division, rather, the court is able to take into account a number of different factors to determine what is fair to the parties. Therefore, discuss with your Orlando Divorce Attorney your concerns over certain debts that have been accumulated by you or your spouse. They will be able to offer advice and plans on dealing and distributing these highly litigious issues.
When determining an equitable distribution award, the court will look to a number of different factors to govern an equitable and fair result. Although there are many factors considered by the courts, the ones specifically noted when dividing credit card debts are:
“(g) The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of, or the incurring of liabilities to, both the marital assets and the nonmarital assets of the parties.
(i) The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition.
(j) Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.”
These factors allow you to present evidence to the court of the party who accumulated the debt as well as the reasons for obtaining this debt. The court will look to evidence as to which spouse, if one individually, accumulated the debt. Therefore, if you are able to determine that a spouse used the card solely for their own purposes rather than for marital benefit it is more likely that such debt will be assigned to the acquiring spouse. For instance, if a spouse opened a credit card and solely used it to pay for their gambling debt then the court will likely award this debt to the individual who accumulated it. Further, the court may also look to see if these credit cards were used in the dissipation of assets or for personal use. If a spouse used a credit card to dissipate assets, this may also be taken into account by the judge. If a spouse purposely, or recklessly spent money simply to diminish the assets of the couple, or make private purchases, the court will take these intentional actions into consideration. Such actions may be displayed to the court up to two years prior to the dissolution action. Therefore, it is important to gather as much documentation of your credit card debts. It is imperative to note each credit card, the names attached to each account, the times used, and the purposes the credit cards had in relation to the marriage. These specific and unique issues require the assistance of an experienced Orlando Divorce Attorney during divorce negotiations and trials. A knowledgeable Orlando Divorce Attorney can provide proof to the court and request a fair distribution based on those facts.
If you or your spouse have incurred large amount of credit card debt, consult with your Orlando Divorce Attorney. They will be able to help distinguish marital and separate debt as well as the legal possibilities of steering clear from these liabilities. Our office has considerable experience dealing with disagreements relating to credit card debt. To discuss this or any other aspect of your Florida divorce, contact your Orlando Divorce Attorney.
Speaking to an attorney at our Orlando office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 407-512-0887 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today. We handle family law cases throughout the state of Florida and have offices located at Pensacola, Fort Walton, Tallahassee, and Panama City.