The rules regarding property division in a divorce vary from state to state. If you live in the state of Florida, the law requires that property is divided up equitably. However, some people make the assumption that this means a 50/50 division; it does not. Equity is based upon the circumstances of each party. The judge will evaluate the situation and determine a fair division.
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What Factors Determine Equitable Division?
- The length of the marriage
- Each person’s economic circumstance
- Career or educational occupation interruption
- How spouse contributed to wealth in the marriage
- Each spouse’s contribution to the other’s education or career
- What each party contributed to the marriage non-economically
- Wrongful conduct related to hiding assets
- Liabilities incurred by both parties
- Either spouse engaging in the destruction of property or assets after the divorce is filed
Marital and Non-Marital Property
Marital assets are considered everything acquired by both parties during the marriage. This includes retirement benefits, pensions, stocks, bonds, IRAs, and all other financial property and investments. In most situations, any property that was acquired before the marriage is considered separate property and cannot be touched by the other party. This includes property that was gifted or inherited.
Other Examples of Separate Non-Marital Proper:
- Any prenuptial properties as stated in the agreement
- Separate property purchased by the spouse before the marriage as long as it was treated as separate
- Any property the spouse purchased with separate funds or property
Once the issue is brought before the court, there will be a determination regarding what is considered marital property and what is not. The judge will then assign a monetary number to the properties. Couples also have the opportunity to reach an out-of-court agreement with the help of attorneys and professional appraisals.
Many of the same factors apply when it comes to marital debt. If the debt was accrued by both parties during the marriage, it will be divided. The judge will have the last say when determining which party pays the debt and how much.
What Factors Determine Who Keeps the Marital Home?
Since both parties sharing the home is not practical, a fair resolution must be reached when determining who lives in the house. In most cases, the spouse who is taking care of the children will be allowed to stay at the house. If there are no minor children involved, two things can happen:
- One spouse pays the other out of their share to keep the home
- The house is sold and both spouses split the proceeds