What you need to know about property division and divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2020 | Firm News

If you are thinking about divorcing your spouse, you are likely to face a bit of uncertainty. After all, you must adjust to a new way of life after your marriage ends. Nonetheless, having a strong financial foundation is apt to make your post-divorce life easier. Whether you and your spouse have many assets or just a few, you must understand how Florida law treats property division.

Florida judges follow an equitable distribution model when dividing marital wealth. This approach ensures you receive a fair share of marital property. It does not, though, necessarily mean you will get exactly half of what you and your spouse own. Still, to better plan for your financial future, you should consider the ins and outs of property distribution.

Not all property is marital property

Florida’s property division approach applies to marital property and not separate property. Still, distinguishing between the two categories can be challenging. In simple terms, marital property is everything acquired during the marriage. Nevertheless, you may have taken steps to keep certain items separate. Also, if you inherited property, it may or may not be part of the marital estate.

Division is not always easy

Some marital assets, such as cash and retirement accounts, may be easy to divide. Others, though, are decidedly more difficult. For example, you simply cannot cut your dog or cat in half. Fortunately, judges in the Sunshine State are sensitive to this issue. That is, they regularly use assets to offset ones that are difficult or impossible to divide between each spouse.

Debts count too

When judges divide marital wealth, they do so equitably. The same is true for marital debts. That is, if you and your spouse have a mortgage, credit card balances, student loans or other joint debts, you should probably expect to pay a fair share of them.

You and your spouse may be able to reach an acceptable agreement about what happens to your marital wealth. If you go to court, however, you must understand how judges in Florida divide marital assets. Luckily, with a bit of preparation, you can likely boost your odds of receiving your fair share.