Can My Spouse Get Half Of My Property In A Florida Divorce?
Many people mistakenly believe that their spouse will get half of their property if they file for divorce. However, this will most likely not happen because Florida is an equitable distribution state.
Equitable distribution means that the divorcing couple’s property should be divided in a fair and right manner, which is almost never a 50/50 split. Instead, Florida courts consider a wide range of factors, including the financial situation of both spouses, to determine the most appropriate way to divide marital assets and liabilities.
If you fear that your spouse could get half of your property in your Florida divorce, speak with our Orlando property division lawyer at Arwani Law Firm to talk about your case. Our attorney will help you understand whether or not a judge can divide the property in half in your particular situation.
You and Your Spouse Can Reach an Agreement Regarding Property Division
First and foremost, Florida courts encourage divorcing couples to reach an agreement regarding the division of their property and debts without going to court. However, if spouses cannot reach a divorce settlement outside of court, they may need a judge to decide for them.
The judge will consider a number of factors before dividing marital property between the spouses, including:
- The duration of the marriage
- Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage
- Each spouse’s income and earning potential
- The number of children, if any
- Either spouse’s contributions to the other spouse’s education or earning potential
- Each spouse’s separate assets and debts
- Allegations of wasteful dissipation of marital assets
Letting a judge decide for you is unpredictable and can result in an unfavorable decision. For this reason, it is in your best interests to hire a skilled lawyer who can help you and your spouse negotiate a mutually beneficial agreement regarding property division.
What Are Marital and Separate Property?
Before dividing a divorcing couple’s property, the first thing to do is to determine which assets are marital and which ones are separate. Under Florida law, marital assets are subject to equitable division while separate property is not.
Generally, any assets acquired by the spouses during the marriage are considered marital property and can be divided between the spouses upon a divorce. Common examples of marital assets include:
- Real estate
- Retirement accounts
- Bank accounts
Separate property, on the other hand, is any property that spouses owned before the marriage. Under Fla. Stat. § 61.075, any assets inherited or received as gifts during the marriage are also considered separate property unless they were commingled with marital assets.
What Happens to the Marital Home?
A common question after a Florida divorce is, “Who gets the house?” While a judge cannot order to split the couple’s marital home in half, it is likely to choose one of the following:
- Allowing one spouse to buy out the other spouse’s share of the home;
- Ordering the couple to sell the marital home to divide the proceeds; and
- Allowing one spouse to live in the home in exchange for a larger share of other marital assets for the other spouse.
There may be other options available depending on the circumstances of your case. A skilled property division lawyer in Florida can help you understand your options when dividing marital assets and debts in a divorce. Schedule a free case review with our family lawyer Rania Arwani by calling 407-254-0060.