September 2, 2022
All assets and liabilities are divided between the parties in a divorce. This process can be complex, especially when there is a lot of support or a business to divide. It’s essential to clearly understand all the assets and debts that must be divided in a divorce.
The Process of Equitable Distribution in Florida
The Florida StatutesTitle VI, Chapter 61, governs the equitable distribution process in the State of Florida. During a divorce, equitable distribution refers to the division of assets and liabilities between spouses.
The Court presumes that all assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage are marital assets and liabilities subject to equitable distribution. This includes all income and earnings, regardless of how they are titled.
But there are some exceptions to this general rule. Inheritances, gifts, and property acquired before marriage are typically considered separate property and are not subject to equitable distribution. Additionally, any increases in the value of the respective property are not subject to equitable distribution, with a few exceptions.
Equitable distribution begins with each spouse disclosing all assets and liabilities to the other. After all assets and liabilities have been revealed, the court will determine which assets are marital and which are separate. The Court will then assign a value to all marital property.
Factors That Courts Consider When Dividing Property
State courts divide property according to the laws of the state in which the divorce is filed. However, there are some general factors that courts consider when dividing property.
The first factor courts consider is whether the property is marital or separate. Any property acquired during the marriage, regardless of who purchased it or who is on the title, is considered marital property. Separate property consists of all assets acquired before or after marriage.
Another factor courts consider there is the value of the property. This includes both the sentimental value and the monetary value. Courts may evaluate replacement cost, fair market value, unique meaning, and usefulness when valuing a property.
Finally, courts must also consider the needs of each spouse when dividing property. This includes things like employment, health, education, and child-rearing. Courts will try to divide property to leave each spouse with the resources they need to maintain their standard of living after the divorce.
How to Protect Your Assets in a Florida Divorce
Florida is a no-fault divorce state, meaning a spouse does not have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong to get a divorce. Florida law does, however, require that the couple live apart for at least six months before a divorce can be granted.
Understanding how state laws protect your assets during a divorce in Florida is crucial. Since Florida is an equitable distribution state, assets are divided fairly but not necessarily equally between the parties. When dividing assets, the court will consider several factors, such as each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, financial needs, and child custody arrangements.
If protecting your assets concerns you, you must speak with an experienced divorce attorney. A lawyer can help you understand the state’s laws and protect your interests during the divorce process.
Understanding the basics of property division in Florida divorce cases is essential. This includes knowing what is considered marital property and what is not, as well as how the courts divide property between spouses.
Contact an experienced family law attorney today if you are seeking a divorce in Florida and are concerned about the processes and payments. Dorsey Law Firm aims to achieve the best possible outcome. Our goal is to provide expert representation while keeping our clients informed of the status of their cases at all times. Contact us today!