It’s a common assumption that everything a husband and wife own is divided equally after a divorce. While there is some truth to this popular belief, property division in Florida is not always 50/50. Either spouse can end up with more marital assets than the other.
Here is what you need to know if you are thinking of getting a divorce or are already in the process.
Only marital property is divided upon divorce
The assets you acquire during the marriage are known as marital assets. Your family home, retirement accounts, joint bank accounts and stocks are some assets that could be considered part of the marital estate.
On the other hand, everyone gets to keep their personal property which is what you owned before getting into the marriage or assets acquired through inheritance.
Florida is not a community property state
In community property states, all the marital assets are jointly owned, and spouses have an equal share in them. However, it plays out differently under Florida laws. The state adopts an equitable distribution approach where other factors come into play when determining who gets what.
- The duration of the marriage
- The economic circumstances of each spouse
- If either spouse stalled or interrupted their career or education opportunities to support the other
- The intentional misappropriation or waste of marital assets by either spouse
- The contribution of each spouse to the marital estate
- Any other factors, in the best interests of equity and justice, among others
All these will come into play during property division, and what each spouse will get depends on the prevailing state of affairs.
Can you agree with your spouse on how to divide marital assets?
If you are worried about the court’s decision on how everything should go, you can agree with your spouse on how to divide the marital assets. Afterward, you can forward the settlement agreement to the court for approval.
If need be, you can pull in a mediator to help you find common ground and avoid the unpredictability of court proceedings.