Division of Assets and Debts in a Divorce
Divorce is a stressful and exhausting event that encompasses a wide range of issues. Even when there are no children, there is a lot that needs to be dealt with. One of the most contentious ones is dividing assets and debts.
Most people are concerned mainly with the assets. Who gets what? Not many people think about the debts in the marriage. They may think that they magically disappear, but they don’t. Credit card bills, loans, car payments, and mortgages all need to be discussed.
How assets and debts are split mainly depends on whether there is a prenuptial agreement in place, as well as state laws. Florida is an equitable distribution state (as opposed to a community property state), meaning that assets and debts are split fairly. This could mean a 50/50 split or it could be 60/40, 70/30, or some other split.
The division could also be based on factors such as:
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s economic circumstances
- Any interruption in either spouse’s career or educational opportunities
- Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage
- Either spouse’s contribution to the career or educational opportunities of the other spouse
Splitting the Assets
Keep in mind that only marital assets are split in a divorce. Any assets acquired during the marriage are the ones that must be divided. Any possessions that the parties owned prior to the marriage are typically not split in a divorce unless they have been commingled. This means that they have been used by both parties, such as a home or vehicle.
One of the most common questions about assets is: who gets the house? It either gets sold or one spouse buys out the other. If it gets sold, the parties split the proceeds. If one person wants the house, they can buy their share of the home and give the money to the other party.
Who is Responsible for the Debt?
Debt needs to be handled as well, although not many people want to discuss it. Debt may be split 50/50 or it may be divided based on factors such as a prenuptial agreement and whose name was on the loan agreements. If both parties’ names were on the paperwork, then both would be held liable.
Marital and non-marital debt also comes into play. If you accumulated debt before marriage, that debt would be your responsibility alone. If the debt was accumulated after the marriage, then it is marital debt and the creditor may come after both parties for payment, even in a divorce.
Contact a West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney Today
Dealing with property division after a divorce can be a frustrating situation. Everyone wants the assets but nobody wants the debts.
Count on Brian K. McMahon, P.A. for help with the process. He is a West Palm Beach divorce attorney who can help you understand divorce laws while protecting your legal rights. To schedule a consultation, call (561) 658-1789 or fill out the online form. We serve the West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Port St. Lucie, and South Florida areas.