There are many misconceptions and myths surrounding divorce in Florida. One of the most common is that your spouse gets half of everything in a divorce. While there are assets and property to be divided in any divorce, having a 50/50 split is not how the process typically works in Florida.
Florida courts use an “equitable distribution” model for deciding how the assets and other property will be split between the spouses. This means that, in some cases, a court will split everything equally between the two parties. Ultimately however, judges in Florida will make sure that everything is split in an equitable and fair way, which may mean that one spouse gets a larger (or smaller) percentage of everything.
Free Consultations With Experienced Florida Divorce Attorneys
At Robert Sparks Attorneys, our team of experienced Florida divorce attorneys can make sure that your existing assets and property are split fairly in your divorce. We can help you understand your legal options and help you work with your spouse to ensure that the marital property is properly accounted for and divided in an equal way.
To get started with a free consultation, contact us today.
How Are Assets Divided in a Florida Divorce?
In Florida, the division of assets during a divorce is overseen by a judge, who will use the equitable distribution concept. This means that the division of marital property is between spouses and relates to their financial situation. In contrast to states where the division of marital property is even, equitable distribution seeks to achieve a balanced settlement that is proportional to each person’s needs and conditions.
When dividing marital property, Florida courts will consider the following factors:
- The age of both parties
- The duration of the marriage
- Each spouse’s present and future earning capacity
- The property owned by each spouse
- The sources and manner in which property was acquired
- The dissipation (squandering) of assets
- Family ties and obligations
- Tax consequences on each party
- Any other factors the court deems relevant
What Assets Get Divided In a Florida Divorce?
Only marital assets and liabilities are divided in a Florida divorce. Usually, this includes all property that was acquired during the marriage, regardless of who owns it at the time of the divorce. When getting a divorce, one of the first things you should do with your spouse is compile a list of all marital assets. If you’re able to do this amicably, it makes the entire process faster and easier. When trying to get a handle on asset division, assets typically fall into two distinct categories: marital property and separate property.
Marital property includes all assets, property, and debts accumulated by you and your spouse during the period of your marriage. The following items include:
- Marital home
- Motor vehicles
- Second homes
- Bank accounts
- Business interests
- Retirement accounts
- 401k accounts
- Credit card charges
- Any other property acquired or debts incurred while they were married
Separate property–also known as community property–is any property owned by either party before the marriage. It can also be extended to include property (usually a gift or inheritance) that was acquired during the marriage. In the vast majority of divorces, separate property is awarded to the party it originally belonged to. In some instances, separate property can become marital property when it becomes intertwined with marital property. This usually includes things like investments or business interests. In these instances, the property will be considered marital property at the time of asset division. Common examples of separate property include:
- Separate bank accounts
- Inheritances acquired during the marriage, if held separately
- Gifts to either spouse
- Personal injury proceeds
- Any property acquired after the dissolution of a marriage
Again, the final decision of who gets what in a Florida divorce comes down to the judge. As such, having an experienced Florida divorce attorney on your side can make sure your case for asset division is as strong as possible.
Experienced and Dedicated Florida Divorce Attorneys Can Help You
Going through a divorce is an extremely emotional process that is made even more contentious when it comes to the division of assets. Not only do you have to make sure that your spouse is giving a proper accounting of what assets there are to be divided, but you also have to ensure that a judge is being given a clear picture of how to equitably and fairly divide these assets. This can be quite the challenge, but with the right team of divorce attorneys on your side, the process can be made much easier.
At Robert Sparks Attorneys, our team of experienced and dedicated Florida divorce lawyers has years of experience helping people walk away from their divorce with the assets they need to move on with their lives. Every divorce is different, but our experience and knowledge of Florida laws and the court system allow us to give each client the case-specific approach that they deserve.
If you are concerned about the asset division process in your divorce, we can help. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to make sure you’re treated fairly.