May 4, 2023
Divorce is a difficult process, especially when it comes to dividing property. It is crucial to understand the property division laws in Florida to ensure a fair and equitable distribution. This article will explain what your lawyer wants you to know about property division in a Florida divorce.
1. Equitable Distribution
Florida is an equitable distribution state, meaning all marital property is divided fairly but not by definition equally. Marital property includes assets and debts obtained during the marriage, including real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and personal property. Non-marital property, such as assets acquired before the marriage or through inheritance, is not subject to division.
2. Factors Considered in Property Division
Florida courts consider several factors when determining the equitable distribution of marital property. These factors include the full length of the marriage, the economic circumstances of each spouse, the contribution of each spouse to the union, and the desirability of retaining an asset, such as the marital home, for the benefit of any children.
Additionally, the court may also consider the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, or appreciation of the value of the marital property. This means that a spouse who contributed significantly to acquiring or improving a particular asset may be entitled to a larger share of that asset.
3. Debt Division
In addition to property division, debts incurred during the marriage are also subject to division. This involves credit card debt, student loans, and mortgages. Both spouses are responsible for repaying marital debts, regardless of whose name is on the account.
It is important to note that non-marital debts, such as those incurred before the marriage, are not subject to division. However, if a non-marital debt was paid off using marital funds, the court may consider that in the property division process.
4. Marital Settlement Agreement
In some cases, divorcing spouses may reach an agreement on property division without court intervention. This is a marital settlement agreement that an experienced family law attorney should draft.
A marital settlement agreement outlines how marital property will be divided, including real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and personal property. It should also address the division of debts and any other financial obligations.
Once both spouses have agreed to the terms of the agreement, it must be signed and notarized. The agreement is then presented to the court for approval and becomes a legally binding contract.
5. Enforcement of Property Division Orders
If one spouse fails to obey the property division order, the other spouse may seek enforcement through the court system. This may include wage garnishment, seizure of assets, or other legal remedies.
Working with a seasoned family law attorney is important to ensure that the property division order is clear and enforceable. If there are any concerns about a spouse’s ability or willingness to comply with the order, it may be necessary to take additional legal action to protect your interests.
Divorce is a difficult process, especially when dividing property and debts. It is important to understand Florida’s equitable distribution laws and work with an experienced family law attorney to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of assets and debts.
A marital settlement agreement can help prevent conflicts and ensure both spouses are satisfied with the property division. If you have any concerns about property division in a Florida divorce, contact an experienced family law attorney today.
If you need assistance with family law in Florida, contact Dorsey Law JAX today. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to helping you achieve a fair and equitable property division in your divorce. Don’t face this difficult process alone, let us guide you through it. Contact us now for a consultation.