People in Florida own various types of property and as they progress through life it is natural to own more and more property. This is true for married couples as well. During a marriage, couples may buy homes together, have bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts, vehicles, many different types of household goods and other types of property. During the marriage, the couple will share the property they own, but if they divorce they will need to divide the property.
There are a couple of steps that the couple must go through during this process. One is that they need to determine the value of all their property. This will require gathering important documentation and could require appraisals depending on the type of asset. Then they will need to determine what property is marital and which property is separate property. Marital property is property acquired during the marriage and separate property is property owned prior to the marriage at a very basic level, but there are exceptions to this rule.
Factors used to divide property
In Florida marital property is divided equitably, which does not necessarily mean equally. The presumption is that the property would be divided equally, but if that is not equitable the judge can analyze a number of factors to determine the distribution of the property. These factors include, but are not limited to:
- The contributions of each spouse towards the acquisition of assets, which includes their contribution of a homemaker.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The economic circumstances of each spouse.
- If there were periods when one was not working to further the career opportunities of the other spouse.
- Spouses’ contributions to the improvement or enhancement of assets.
- If there was any waste of assets in the two years prior to divorce.
- Other factors to determine an equitable distribution.
Property division during divorces in Florida can be a very complicated process that can be time-consuming. Experienced attorneys understand how to apply the factors stated above and may be able to guide one through the process.
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