Divorce in the Florida – Credit Card Debt
The state of Florida uses something called the equitable distribution method to split financial responsibilities in a divorce. This includes credit card debt. The debt doesn’t have to be divided equally, but it does have to be divided up fairly. This means ability to pay will come into play as one of the many factors that will be considered in how credit card debt is divided. Other factors considered are contributions made during the marriage (both financial and non-financial, such as raising children).
How WIll the Credit Card Debt Affect My Divorce?
In Florida, non-marital debt is not a part of a divorce. Therefore, if you have a credit card is exclusively your own personal needs, then that debt doesn’t count. However, cards do qualify if they are for items related to the marriage. Things such as household items, a vacation, items children needed, etc. could all qualify. A card with these items charged is fair game when it comes time to determine equitable distribution. Credit cards that were taken out before the marriage but were later used during the marriage for things related to the household fall into this category as well. Once you use a card for things that are part of the marriage, they become part of the divorce proceedings.
Credit cards in both names qualify as joint debt. Also, credit cards under one name but used for things for both will qualify as joint debt. Sometimes couples determine how to divide the debt on their own. This type of plan becomes part of the divorce settlement. However, if they cannot come to an agreement, the credit card debt is fair game during divorce proceedings and split in a way that is equitable.
Divorce and Credit Card Companies
It is important to note that the agreement set forth in a divorce settlement does not matter to creditors. This means that if the credit card is under your name, but your divorce settlement dictates that your ex-spouse must pay it, the credit card company may come after you if your ex does not comply with the order. This could impact your credit card score negatively. It could also require you to return to court to compel your ex to pay.
It is extremely important to fill out the forms provided to you by your attorney as completely as possible. Be sure to include any credit card debt that you feel is appropiate.
For help navigating financial disclosures during your divorce, contact our Experienced Jacksonville Divorce Attorneys at Parra Harris Law at 904-900-1617.