Division of Assets in Florida
During a divorce, all the property and assets are divided into two categories: separate assets and marital assets. Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital assets, i.e., those assets acquired during the marriage, are divided in a way that the court deems to be fair. This does not necessarily mean that everything is divided equally, and a number of factors are considered when the division is executed.
Here is a partial list of things that are taken into consideration when dividing marital assets:
- The length of the marriage
- The financial and economic condition of each partner
- Whether one partner assisted the other in attaining a higher level of education or technical training during the marriage
- The ease with which the assets can be divided
If the marital home is a couple’s only asset, the court might order the home to be sold and the proceeds divided. If one spouse is living in the marital home with minor children, the court might order the home to be sold at some later date, giving the custodial parent the right to remain in the home.
Assets that are not considered marital assets, such as an inheritance, gifts, a family business or family homestead are not divided, as long as they remained clearly separate, by either premarital agreement or separate accounts. Some separate assets that are comingled with marital assets are considered marital assets and divided accordingly. Likewise, regarding a separate property that was improved or increased in value during a marriage, such as a home or business, the amount of increase in value is also marital property and is divided in an equitable manner.
You and your spouse can create your own agreement, either alone, with separate attorneys or with a mediator. If you are not able to reach an agreement at all, a judge divides your property for you.
If you have questions about the division of your assets, speak to a divorce attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can provide responses tailored to your particular circumstances.