Should We Settle Our Debts Before Divorcing?
Dividing assets and liabilities is a key part of the Florida divorce process, and one crucial aspect couples should consider is whether settling their debts before proceeding with a divorce will be helpful or not. As is true in many divorce factors, there are pros and cons of paying off debts before ending a marriage and what the best course of action for you will depend on the details of your situation.
When you meet with a West Palm Beach family attorney, they will shed light on how debts and financial obligations are handled when a marriage in Florida ends. Then, you can ask specific questions about your circumstance so you can make informed decisions and protect your financial well-being.
In Florida, financial debts and assets acquired during the course of a marriage are typically considered marital assets and debts. This is true regardless of whose name is on the account. Through the divorce process, an equitable distribution of debts will need to be reached. Equitable divisions take into account factors such as each spouse’s financial situation, contributions to the marriage, and future earning capacity.
Pros of Paying Off Marital Debts
- Financial independence. When debts are paid off before divorcing, both spouses can enter the next chapter of their lives without the burden of shared debt. They will not need to distribute the financial burden.
- Clearing debts means there are fewer financial entanglements, so it becomes easier to determine each party’s financial responsibilities. There are even situations where no debts to review makes the divorce process faster.
- Less legal complexity. Resolving debts means fewer legal complexities, allowing couples to focus on other important matters, such as child custody and support or property division.
Cons of Settling Financial Liabilities
- Financial strain. Divorce is a stressful time, and paying off debts before divorcing may impose a significant financial burden on both spouses, increasing worries during a difficult time.
- Needing resources. If you need resources to establish separate households and cover legal fees associated with a divorce, settling debts may make the situation financially difficult.
- Contribution inequality. Settling debts could result in one individual shouldering a disproportionate share of the financial responsibility, and there may be a more equitable agreement in reach if the debt is negotiated through the divorce process.
- Hidden debts. When a person or couple is in a rush to pay off debts they may inadvertently overlook hidden debts, which will need to be reviewed in order to ensure a fair division of both assets and liabilities.
Deciding whether to settle debts before divorce is a significant consideration, talk to a West Palm Beach family attorney before making a large financial move.
Should you pay off debt or negotiate the financial obligations through the divorce process? Consulting with the knowledgeable divorce attorneys at Bruce S. Rosenwater & Associates means you will access valuable guidance to ensure that debts and financial obligations are handled appropriately, protecting your financial well-being during and after the divorce process. Book your free initial consultation today.