In Florida and around the country, people know it can be difficult to divide assets in a divorce. An equally important but less pleasant task is assigning responsibility for debts during a divorce. Florida is a common law state when it comes to dividing assets and debts. This means that spouses will be held responsible only for debt in their name and for debts accumulated on accounts where they’re an authorized user.
Assigning responsibility for debts
In a typical divorce, each spouse is represented by an attorney. Each attorney will attempt to negotiate a settlement that favors their client as much as possible. Debts on joint accounts will be divided by the judge. The details of who is responsible for which payments will be outlined in the divorce decree. Sometimes, a judge will clearly specify that one party is not responsible for some debts in the decree.
Occasionally, a judge will order someone to pay debt that’s not technically under their name. However, a creditor will not necessarily know about that. The creditor may still make attempts to be repaid by the party who is named on the account. Even if the divorce decree holds that person harmless, creditors may not respect that language.
In cases like this, it’s possible for the person being wrongly pursued to sue the person who has not paid their debts as ordered in the divorce decree. All of this can be difficult to navigate, so it may be a good idea for divorced individuals being pursued for debts they’re not legally responsible for to contact a lawyer. A legal professional may be able to help their clients get relief and move forward after the divorce.