Navigating Asset Division in Florida
When a couple’s pursuit of happily ever after leads them down different paths, they must address various topics to cleanly untie the knot and part ways. Depending on the length of the marriage, the couple could have acquired a great deal of marital property that must now be acknowledged and accounted for as they begin the divorce process.
The couple, if splitting amicably, may elect to pursue an uncontested divorce and decide the future of their assets for themselves. However, if the decisions end up in the hands of the court, there are some considerations of Florida property division law that each party must remain cognizant of.
Understand the Difference Between Individual and Marital Assets
Individual assets are considered anything that either spouse received or purchased for themselves prior to their marriage. Additional items gained during the marriage may also be deemed separate assets if they were received as a gift or inheritance.
Florida law offers a simplistic explanation for what is considered marital property, professing that it is any property or debt acquired during the marriage. Marital property could potentially include assets that one spouse owned prior to their union if they added the other spouse’s name to the title of the asset in question. These owed amounts and owned properties are then subject to redistribution according to Florida courts’ equitable division protocols.
Remember that Florida Follows an Equitable Distribution of Assets
Assets are divided once the court has the opportunity to properly assess the value of all marital property. Once determined, the court will redistribute assets equitably, taking into account considerations such as:
- The contributions each spouse made to the marriage both financially and in homemaking and childcare
- The length of the marriage
- The financial status of each spouse
- The effect, whether positive or negative, of each spouse on the other’s career, whether by halting their work or by helping them return to school
- The desirability of a certain asset to either spouse
The court will conduct a thorough investigation before splitting the property based on the factors observed before and during the marriage, as well as a predicted look at the future of both spouses.
Pets Are Seen as Property
If you and your partner adopted a pet during the marriage, beware that the law will view your furry friend as property in the redistribution. Here, they apply similar equitable analysis and consider which spouse formed a more significant bond, provided for the pet, spent considerable time with them, and so on.