The process of going through a divorce is already a stressful experience for most. While there are many steps that must be taken to finalize the divorce, one of the most stress inducing parts of the process can be the distribution of debt among the former partners. But who is responsible for credit card debt when a divorce is granted in Florida?

Who owns the debt?

Often, the part of a divorce that gets the ugliest is the distribution of property and debt. When credit card debt comes into play, the state where the divorce is being filed for plays a large role in who becomes responsible going forward.

41 states recognize the concept of “common law.” Common law states that a court will hold the person who has his or name on the credit card debt responsible for repayment. That is good news for divorcees as the other nine states evenly distribute the debt between both parties, even if only one of them has their name on it.

Special circumstances

Even in common law states like Florida, a judge overseeing the divorce proceedings may still assign either party to repay some or all of the debt on the credit card. This judge may review what the card was used to pay for, and decide that the party that benefited the most from the credit card is responsible for repaying the debt.

Anyone facing the prospect of a divorce is encouraged to seek the legal counsel of an attorney who is well-versed in their state’s family law. This attorney can review the facts surrounding the divorce in addition to any assets that have to be distributed in the final divorce decree. He or she can also negotiate credit card debt, and other debt, on behalf of their client.