During a divorce proceeding in Florida, the court only divides marital assets and debts. For the purposes of a Florida divorce, the court considers any assets or debts acquired during the marriage by either party as marital assets.
The court does not divide separate assets, defined as property and money owned by only one of the spouses. Non-marital assets include anything that either spouse obtained before the marriage or anything that either spouse received as a gift or inheritance during the marriage. This does not include gifts between spouses. Adding your spouse to the title of an item such as a car makes it marital property.
How to Divide Property in Florida After Divorce
Once the couple decides what is and isn’t marital property, they must actually divide their property. First, the court assesses the value of non-monetary property. The court will work with the couple to determine the value of their property. Experts like appraisers or certified public accountants (CPA) may be consulted to determine property value.
The court divides the spouses’ property after assessing its value. In Florida, property must have an equitable distribution. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the court will split a couple’s property down the middle though. The court may consider the following factors when making its decisions regarding property distribution:
- Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, including childcare and homemaking
- Economic circumstances of both spouses
- Length of the marriage
- Interruption of career or education of either party
- If one spouse helped the other to advance his or her career or education
- Desirability of obtaining a specific asset, including for business reasons
- How each spouse contributed to obtaining their assets
- Whether it’s necessary for either spouse to stay in the family home for children
- Any intentional wasting of assets during the two years prior to filing for divorce (this includes spending large amounts of money on a person with whom one spouse committed adultery)