When you find yourself contemplating a divorce, one of your questions will be, “Which debts do I have to take?” In Florida, we are an equitable distribution state. That means there is no bright line showing the court how to divide the parties’ property. In some cases, the division of debts and assets are not always 50/50. In Community Property states, (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. Alaska is an opt-in community property state that gives both parties the option to make their property community property.), there is a bright line rule. Property and debt are divided equally, period. But since we are in Florida, division can be divided unequally depending on various factors.
Credit cards like any debt incurred during the marriage is considered a marital debt, even if one spouse didn’t know about it. A debt will not be considered marital if it was for a non-marital purpose, such as a paramour,or a strip club. Ultimately though, the party’s legal responsibility for a debt boils down to who is the card holder, not just an authorized user. The credit card company can only pursue the card holder. Many times the Court will allocate a credit card debt in the division of property to the non-card holder. It may ultimately be enforceable if the card holder pays the debt and then sues the other party. I always suggest to my client to take their own debt and we can sort out the rest, because the last thing a party wants is to rely on their now ex-spouse to pay their credit card. It can ruin your credit.