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How will repaid debts affect property division?

It is certainly a loving gesture to help a spouse repay student loans. One man who used his own money to pay off a spouse's debt is wondering how this will affect the property division during his divorce. His soon-to-be ex-wife is leaving him after only two years and wants to keep the house and half of his retirement savings. Individuals in Florida facing similar circumstances in divorce may be able to learn from this man's question. 

The husband made significantly more income than his wife. During the two years of their marriage, he says that he worked diligently to pay off the woman's loans. Now he wonders if the facts that he paid off the woman's debts gets spread evenly, allowing her less opportunity during the divorce settlement to claim a portion of the man's property. 

Unfortunately for this man, the repaid debts will not affect how the marital property is distributed, say the experts. His property will be divided according to the laws of his state. Given the short length of the man's marriage, it seems unlikely that he will be responsible to pay alimony, and he will be able to keep any property that is his own separate property. 

In Florida, property division is applied according to the principle of equitable distribution. During a divorce, individuals can choose to settle the matter out of court but if they cannot reach an agreement, they may go to court and have the matter decided by a judge. An individual who wishes to advocate for his or her own best outcome may decide to use the help of an experienced family law attorney during the divorce process. 

Source: marketwatch.com, "I paid off my wife's student loans - then she filed for divorce after two years of marriage", Quentin Fottrell, April 24, 2018

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