Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Divorce

In a Florida divorce, sometimes an issue to resolve is responsibility for loans taken out for a child of the marriage, whether it be for school, a vehicle or another expense. Parents want to know who will ultimately be responsible for these loans according to Florida divorce laws. 

In the case Wayne v. Eisnpar, 217 So.3d 223 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017) the former husband appealed the trial court's failure to categorize loans taken out for the couple's son's student loan and auto loan. The evidence presented at trial showed the former wife co-signed on the vehicle loan and the husband co-signed on the student loan. 

Florida divorce law is clear that liabilities incurred after the date of marriage until the date the petition for dissolution of marriage is filed are presumed to be marital debts subject to equal distribution to each party. There are some exceptions to this rule, but in the Wayne case, no such exceptions existed. Therefore, the appellate court held that the trial court made an error by failing to distribute responsibility for these debts between the former spouses. 

The timing of when a debt is incurred is important in determining responsibility for the debt. For this reason, it may be best in some cases to file a petition for dissolution of marriage sooner than later if a spouse is sure he or she wants to move forward with divorce. To form a strategy to protect yourself against liability for debts you did not yourself incur, contact a Miami divorce attorney for a consultation.