How is Property Divided in Florida
The Division of Property in Florida
How is property divided in Florida? If you are in the middle of a divorce or, if you are in the planning stages, then you need to know the answer to this question. The division of your assets and liabilities is essential to you as they probably are to your spouse.
In the best-case scenario, it might be possible for you and your spouse to reach a mutual agreement of “who gets what.” If this cannot be agreed upon, it will be necessary for a judge to make the decisions of how the assets and liabilities will be divided. This often results in one or both parties being unhappy with the outcome.
When a judge makes this decision, it is assumed it will be done in a fair manner whereby the property will be split as equally as possible. However, this is not always the result.
It is the responsibility of the Florida divorce court to determine which debts and property are considered marital and those which are not. Florida uses the law of “equitable distribution.” This means that all property acquired during the years of marriage belongs to the spouse who earned it. During a divorce, all liabilities and assets will be divided between the spouses, so it results fairly and equitably.
Florida does not have any set rules regarding who will receive what. Further, there is no law as to how much they will receive. Instead, several factors are considered. The court reviews the earnings of each spouse. If one spouse does not work and stays home raising the children, for example, the earning value of this spouse will be factored in.
What are the Marital & Non-Marital Assets
In regards to assets, the court must consider marital or non-marital status. Those assets brought into the marriage are non-marital. Those acquired during the marriage are marital assets. This can become complicated as there are many variables. For example, gifts given to each other during the marriage become marital property. Retirement funds, pensions, and so forth become marital assets. Any assets or liabilities received before the marriage, if they are not commingled while married, are considered non-marital property.
Once the assets and liabilities have been listed as marital or non-marital a monetary value is then placed on each item. It is not uncommon that a professional appraiser may need to be hired to decide on some property.
Factors to consider by Florida Court when dividing Assets & Liabilities
There are many factors a court considers when dividing the assets and liabilities. These include such things as the length of the marriage, the economic situation of each spouse, debts, and liabilities assigned to each spouse, and many other considerations.
In regards to a home, a judge might order the house be sold and the money divided. There are other considerations such as if there are children living at the home or if one spouse feels strongly about remaining at the home.
When it comes to debt, the court will try to divide the couple’s debts equally.