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What happens to debts after separation but before divorce?

When Florida couples part ways, physically leaving can be the relatively easy part. The hard part is disentangling everything else. Take, for example, finances. If a couple has been married for a while and then gets divorced, sorting through who gets what can be a slow, headache-inducing process. But that's not the only issue. What happens to debts incurred after the separation but before the divorce?

These debts need to be taken seriously. Until the divorce becomes official, the debts of one spouse may also be the responsibility of the other -- even if the debt is only in one spouse's name.

Florida courts follow a system known as equitable distribution in a divorce. This means that assets and debt are distributed between the couples in a manner that is considered fair under state guidelines. This can mean splitting everything 50-50, but that is not always the case. The court will look at the circumstances and attempt to distribute the marital property in way that takes into account each party's resources and income potential.

The court will do the same with debt. If, for instance, one spouse secretly racked up huge debts on a credit card that the other spouse did not know about, the court may decide that the spouse who didn't know about the debts willnot be on the hook for much, if any, of them.

What's the takeaway? As soon as you split physically, split financially too. End joint accounts and separate credit cards, bank accounts and the like. If not, you may be responsible for any debt racked up by your partner.

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