In the state of Florida, joint debt is the debt that one or both of the spouses acquired during the marriage. When a couple divorces, the courts in Florida try to identify who is responsible for what part of the joint debt.
In most cases, the courts do not affect how creditors see the debt. Creditors will likely hold both parties responsible for the debt irrespective of which spouse the court says is liable.
Examples of joint debt could include mortgage payments, credit card debt, car loans or lines of credit taken out at a bank. The following are other factors pertaining to joint debt postdivorce that divorcing parties should consider.
When one spouse doesn’t pay their court-ordered debt
Debt is one of the key financial matters in a divorce. Problems can sprout if one party required by the court to pay their debt does not follow through. Even if the court’s judgment dictates that one spouse is entirely responsible for the debt, the court has no sway over the creditor. If one spouse fails to pay, creditors will likely seek payment from the other spouse who cosigned on the loan or for the credit card.
One possible recourse for the innocent individual is to go back to court and have the court demand reimbursement from the ex-spouse. This could even include garnishing the responsible party’s wages.
How can unpaid joint debt affect a person’s credit score?
Regardless of who the court deems liable, both spouses will have their credit affected if the joint debt goes unpaid. In Florida, spouses cannot legally remove each other’s names from a legal agreement with the creditor, nor is it something that the courts will order. The only one who can do this is the creditor. Typically, it’s not in their best interests to remove either spouse from the account.
Dealing with debt during a divorce can be highly challenging. However, it is possible to navigate the situation successfully.