When a couple files for divorce in Florida there will be an “equitable distribution” of the martial assets and liabilities. See Florida divorce law 61.075. Clients are commonly confused by Florida’s divorce laws when inquiring how student loan debt is split in a divorce. Florida law does not require martial debt or assets to be in the name of both spouses. Therefore, in many divorce cases, student loan debt is considered a marital liability and subject to equitable distribution. Determining how student loan debt is split in a divorce can be a confusing process. For information on a specific asset, debt, or case contact a divorce attorney in Tampa for legal advice.
How Student Loan Debt is Split in a Divorce – Equitable Distribution
In Florida, when a couple files for divorce, the court strives for an equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities, unless there is just cause for unequal distribution. Segall v. Segall. Thus, when a Florida judge determines how student loan debt is split in a divorce they decide the outcome based on Florida’s equitable distribution law.
When determining equitable distribution, the first step is to divide assets and liabilities into two categories – debts existing before the marriage, and those gained during the marriage. Debt existing before the marriage will likely remain the responsibility of the spouse the debt belonged to before the marriage began. Any debt acquired during the marriage is likely to be divided equally between the former spouses.
The analysis does not stop there, the court will also take into account whether or not there was any comingling of the assets and debts. For more information on comingling assets and debts click here. Distinguishing which assets and debts would be considered marital property can be very complex, you should contact a divorce attorney.
Student Loan Debt as Marital Property in a Florida Divorce
Generally, student loan debt incurred during a marriage is considered a marital liability. Therefore, the debt is generally divided evenly between couple. See Adams v. Cook. Increased education may also be considered an asset by the divorce court because if the couple had remained married it is assumed the non-student spouse would benefit from the student spouse’s increased education. However, future earnings as a result of the higher education will likely not be considered in the case. See Hughes v. Hughes.
How Student Loan Debt is Split in a Divorce When There is a Prenuptial Agreement
Entering into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help resolve student loan debt in the event of a divorce. The postnuptial or prenuptial agreement can clearly distinguish who is responsible for the debt and be legally binding on each party. For more information on a prenuptial or post nuptial agreement contact a divorce attorney in Tampa.
Tampa Divorce Law Firm
If you are contemplating filing for divorce call us today to speak with divorce attorney in Tampa. Our divorce lawyers have years of experience helping people with their divorce and child custody disputes. Every divorce is different, and our vast experience allows us to cater our services to each client’s individual situation. Whether a couple mutually agrees to the terms of a divorce or are engaged in a fierce battle for their property and child custody rights, Florida Law Advisers, P.A. can help. We are a divorce law firm in Tampa available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and offer a free initial consultation. Call us today at 800 990 7763 to speak with a divorce attorney in Tampa.