If you are soon to divorce, you will need to understand what happens to your property. Each state has different laws regarding how they classify assets and how they split them.
How does Florida categorize marital property?
Florida considers two types of assets: marital and non-marital.
- Marital assets: Those acquired during the marriage, no matter who paid for them. Gifts to each other. The increase in the value of investments while married. The increase in value that your spouse brought to a business you previously owned.
- Non-marital assets: These do not need to be divided. They include those you held before the marriage or most income they generated while married: an inheritance: gift from anyone other than your spouse.
How are marital assets divided?
Once you have defined which property falls into each category, you can work out how to divide it. Florida uses the theory of equitable distribution, meaning assets need to be shared out fairly.
How does a court decide what is equitable? They try to get an overview of your situation. These are some of the factors they will look at:
- How long you were married
- What you contributed to the marriage
- If one of you sacrificed a career or opportunities to raise the children
- Your earning potential and current wage
- Any unnecessary spending by one party
- The benefits to someone of keeping specific assets such as a business
- The future responsibilities each parent will have for children
As you can see, it can be incredibly complicated working out which assets fall into which category and how they should be divided. An experienced attorney can help you work through your assets one by one and help you make your case to retain certain assets to a judge.