Marital debt is debt accumulated by the spouses during the course of the marriage and often may include student loans. Under Florida law, equitable distribution of marital debt is required during a dissolution of marriage proceeding.
All loans incurred during the marriage are considered "marital" pursuant to F.S. 61.075. This certainly creates a level of unfairness in a lot of my cases. The unfairness is multiplied when you incorporate the case law which says you cannot put a valuation on the degree she earned through those loans. The degree can only be helpful to your case in that it increases her earning potential for purposes of alimony and child support. For equitable distribution purposes though, you are likely on the hook for half in the overall scheme...hopefully you didn't co-sign.
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Basically, if the debt was accumulated during the marriage, it is considered "marital" debt, and both parties are responsible for same. Just as both parties would share in income or assets accumulated during the marriage, this loan is viewed as a marital debt because it was a decision during the marriage, and you are both therefore on the hook. If the parties mediate, they can agree to whatever terms they want, so your best chance of avoiding that would be if you could get your wife to agree to it.
Please note that this answer is not to be intended as legal advice, nor does it constitute an attorney-client relationship. If you would like to discuss the issue further, I do offer free phone consultations and would be happy to speak with you in greater detail than these questions and answers allow. Best of luck to you!
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