How is Marital Property Split During a Florida Divorce?
Like most other states, Florida law requires the parties’ marital property to be split in an equitable manner in the event of divorce. While some people use the words “equitably” and “equally” interchangeably, they are actually two different terms.
While there is no guarantee that your marital property will be split 50/50, Florida courts strive for an equitable and fair division of assets and property acquired during the marriage.
If you are going through a divorce, it is vital to consult with a knowledgeable property division lawyer to protect your share of the property and help you navigate the legal process.
How Do Florida Courts Divide Marital Property During a Divorce?
While courts presume that an equitable division means equal, it is up to the judge to divide marital property in a different proportion if there is reason to believe that a 50/50 split would not be fair. Under Section 61.075, Florida Statutes, judges must consider the following factors to divide property in an equitable manner:
- The duration of the marriage;
- Each spouse’s financial and employment status;
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage;
- Any interruption in a spouse’s education or career during the marriage;
- Either spouse’s marital misconduct during the marriage (e.g., adultery or wasteful dissipation of marital funds);
- Each spouse’s contribution to the career or education of the other spouse;
- Each spouse’s contribution to acquiring income and improving marital assets; and
- Debts incurred by either spouse during the marriage.
As you can see, courts consider a variety of factors when dividing marital property upon divorce. For this reason, it is vital to gather plenty of evidence to protect what’s rightfully yours and ensure that marital assets are split fairly.
What is Considered Marital Property in Florida?
Many people do not fully understand the difference between marital and non-marital (separate) property in Florida divorces. Prior to dividing property in a divorce, courts must categorize assets as either marital or non-marital.
In Florida, separate property is not subject to equitable distribution in a divorce. As a rule of thumb, any assets acquired during the marriage are considered marital property. Common types of marital assets include:
- Real estate, including the marital home
- Bank accounts
- Retirement accounts and pensions
- Income separate property
- Assets or property acquired in exchange for separate property
Separate assets, on the other hand, are any assets owned by either spouse before the marriage. Also, under Florida law, gifts and inheritances received by the spouses before or during the marriage are not subject to equitable distribution.
Why You Need an Orlando Property Division Lawyer
It is imperative that you retain an experienced property division lawyer to protect your rights during a divorce in Florida. While you could reach a settlement agreement with your spouse outside of court, doing so is not recommended if you do not have an attorney.
An Orlando property division lawyer will fight for your best interest and help you achieve the outcome you need. Contact our attorneys at Arwani Law Firm to review your unique situation. Our family lawyers are committed to protecting your property during a divorce. Schedule a free consultation by calling at 407-254-0060 or sending an email.