Question: What happens with joint debts when we divorce in Florida?
A joint debt is a debt that you and your spouse are both responsible for. Joint debts commonly, but not always, include mortgages, car loans, and credit card debts.
A divorce will not effect your obligation to a bank, creditor or other lender.
Typically a Final Judgment does one of two things to a joint debt. First, the Final Judgment could require that one spouse be fully responsible for the entire joint debt. Problems occur when the spouse that is required to pay a joint debt by the Final Judgment fails to so so. The creditor will seek payment from either or both parties.
The other alternative is where the Final Judgment requires the spouses to each pay a share of the joint debt. In this situation, problems arise when one of the spouses fail to pay their share of the debt.
It is likely that your credit will be impacted when a joint debt goes unpaid. So far as the credit bureaus are concerned, it does not matter that the judge has ordered your ex to pay all or a portion of a joint debt.
To minimize the impact of this potential problem it is helpful to have an indemnification or hold harmless clause in your Final Judgment. This would allow you to recover an over payment from your ex by suing them.