Dividing your property in a divorce can be the most difficult part of an already upsetting event. You can be scared about your future, angry at what your ex thinks he or she should get, and you can also be confused about the process.
To alleviate some of these concerns, we will discuss some basic elements of property division in Florida divorces.
Equitable division of assets and debts
In Florida, the law states that assets will be divided equitably, or fairly. This is not the same as being divided equally, though in many cases, spouses do exit the divorce with roughly half of the marital assets and debts.
In order to determine what is fair, the courts will take into account factors like the length of marriage, contributions to the marriage and individual financial resources of each spouse.
Only property that is categorized as marital will be eligible for distribution in a Florida divorce. This means that if you have nonmarital property that belongs only to you, including inheritances or gifts, then it will typically remain with you. If you owned property before you got married, you can shield that from division as well if it remained separate during your marriage.
Categorizing property can be difficult, especially when assets are complicated. Often, disputes arise regarding commingling of assets or income on nonmarital property.
Reaching an agreement
Oftentimes, you will work out property division details through mediation or collaboration. This allows you each to have input on the settlement and specify what you do or do not want.
In some cases, though, the courts will need to resolve the matter. This can happen when parties cannot agree or when the assets involved are particularly complex.
Understanding how property division in Florida works can help you manage your expectations and protect yourself during this difficult step in a divorce. Though, you would be wise to also have the support and guidance of an attorney during this process. A legal representative can help you fight for what you deserve and secure a fair settlement.