How Does Florida Handle Property Division In a Divorce?

One of the more contentious issues in a divorce is the division of property between soon-to-be ex spouses. This potential conflict is amplified when it comes to larger assets, such as vehicles, houses, and real estate. Before we cover property that is to be divided in a divorce, referred to as “marital property,” it is good to clearly define the term. 

What is Marital Property?

Any property or assets that are obtained by one or both spouses during their marriage to each other is classified as marital property. There are some notable exceptions – family inheritances, certain gifts, and most property that was owned by one spouse prior to marriage are considered separate property. There are certain conditions that transform separate property into marital property based on actions both spouses take during marriage; this is referred to as “commingling.”

A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can categorize otherwise marital property as separate property, and vice versa. You can also update the title of certain separate property to joint ownership.This can take out some of the hassle of creating an inventory of all property during the divorce process. 

Equitable Distribution

A handful of states are considered “community property” states, in which an equal 50/50 split of marital property is required. Fortunately, Florida is like most states in being an “equitable distribution” jurisdiction. In accordance with this classification, marital property is divided based upon what is fair and equitable. Please note that that does not always mean an equal, 50/50 split. 

Dividing Marital Property

Many divorcing couples come to an agreement on their own that lays out which spouse gets which assets and pieces of property. This can save time by not bringing a judge into the issue of property division. However, there are many instances in which couples simply cannot come to an agreement on dividing marital property. If this is the case, judges will consider the following conditions when coming to a decision: 

  • Financial situations of both spouses;
  • Child custody plan;
  • Contributions of each spouse to the marriage;
  • Each spouse’s education and ability to bring in income;
  • And more.

Conclusion

Depending on how contentious the divorce is for couples, they may need a substantial amount of property division decisions to be made from a judge. Other times, spouses may generally come terms on distributing marital property. Regardless of which situation you find yourself in, the guidance of an experienced family law attorney is crucial to helping you achieve your goals. The Law Office of Ray Garcia can provide effective legal services during your divorce; get in touch with us today.