Florida Laws on Credit Cards & Divorce

By Heather Frances J.D.

Florida is an “equitable distribution” state, which means a couple’s marital assets and debts are divided equitably in a divorce. However, an equitable distribution does not necessarily mean an equal distribution. Florida does not consider certain debts to be marital debts divisible by the court and creditors are not bound by the terms of a divorce decree.

Premarital Debts

In Florida, two categories of debts are not subject to division by the court in a divorce: premarital and non-marital. Premarital debts are those a spouse incurred before the marriage, including debts on a credit card in one spouse’s name. If the other spouse never used the cards, a Florida court considers these debts the responsibility of the spouse in whose name the card was issued. So, the spouse who had the cards prior to the marriage must continue to pay those cards after the divorce.

Non-Marital Debts

Florida also recognizes some assets and debts as non-marital and outside the court’s power to divide. Debts acquired during the marriage that are listed only in one spouse’s name, used as separate property and not paid with marital funds may be considered non-marital. Generally, if one spouse takes out a credit card but none of the charges on it have contributed to the marriage, it might be considered that spouse’s separate debt. For example, if one spouse opens a credit card during the marriage but uses it only for business expenses, debts on that card may be considered non-marital.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Joint Debts

Credit cards opened in both spouses’ names or that were used to purchase items for the family are considered marital debt, divisible in a divorce. Even if a card is not in both names, the card will likely be considered marital debt if both spouses have charged on it during the marriage. Marital debts and assets are divided equitably if the spouses cannot agree on a division. Florida courts begin a division with the presumption that marital assets and debts should be split 50/50, but the judge can change this distribution after considering factors such as the duration of the marriage and the contributions to the marriage by each spouse.


Creditors are not bound by the terms of a divorce decree or marital settlement agreement, so spouses remain liable for any debts in their names. Even if a decree says one spouse is liable for all the couple’s credit cards, creditors can still go after the other spouse for payment if the paying spouse defaults on the debt. However, if the paying spouse attempts to file bankruptcy to escape from these credit card debts, recent changes to the bankruptcy code might prevent him from discharging these debts, so that he will remain liable for them.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Illinois Divorce Law on Credit Card Debt


Related articles

Who Pays the Debts in Texas Divorces?

Texas is technically a community property state, but when it comes to divorce, it does things a little differently from other community property states. Most divide debts 50-50 if they were acquired during the marriage, regardless of which spouse actually contracted for them. Texas makes a distinction, however, and the rules are a bit complicated.

How to Take a Spouse Off a Credit Card Before a Divorce in Arizona

A looming Arizona divorce can present difficult financial tangles, as each spouse prepares to claim a share of the marital assets. Joint credit accounts, especially, can present a minefield of emotionally charged issues. However, you can work out these issues by reaching an agreement on the division of debts with your spouse or by turning the joint credit card accounts into individual ones.

How Is Debt Split in a Divorce in California?

During a divorce, many couples focus on the division of community assets and often don’t realize that marital debt is also divided when a marriage is dissolved. In California, property obtained during the marriage is considered jointly owned by both spouses and may be subject to division in a divorce settlement. Divorcing spouses are also liable for community debt incurred during the marriage, and the court will determine the most equitable division of these liabilities.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Community Property Laws & Credit Cards

Where you live largely determines how your credit card debt is split in a divorce. As a resident of a community ...

California Divorce Property Settlement Laws

California is a community property state, meaning a husband and wife each own half of all the property and assets ...

How Is Marital Debt Divided in a Divorce in Georgia?

Georgia is an equitable distribution state, so one spouse always runs the risk of having more than half the marital ...

Do You Inherit the Past Debts of Your Husband?

Losing a spouse is an emotionally traumatic experience that can quickly become financially traumatic as well. ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED