In Florida, the law says that all property must be divided equally and fairly between a divorcing couple. Couples who can’t divide help on their own may get help from an attorney to negotiate a settlement. Sometimes when a division can not be agreed upon the issue will be resolved by a judge in court. Because dividing property equally is not always fair, a judge may decide how to fairly the divide property based on several circumstances and relevant factors.
Considerations for dividing property
- How long the marriage lasted
- Each spouse’s income
- Interruptions in either spouse’s career or education
- Either spouse’s contributions to the home, including as a homemaker or parent
- Each spouse’s contribution to increasing income
- Each spouse’s contribution to improving assets
- Liabilities brought on by either spouse
- Either spouse’s destruction of marital assets within two years before filing for divorce or after filing
- How easy or difficult an asset is to divide
Marital vs nonmarital property
Only marital assets that were purchased while the couple was married are divided in a divorce. It is also Florida law that funds acquired while married, such as retirement, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, deferred compensation, and insurance plans and programs, will be divided in a divorce.
Nonmarital property is property that was acquired before the couple got married. It can also include:
- Property that was gifted specifically to them
- Assets or debts defined in a written agreement as separate property
- Income that came from separately owned property
- Items purchased or exchanged with separately owned property
Assessing the value of your property
Once all of the property is split up between marital and nonmarital property, the couple or the court will assign a monetary value to each asset. Sometimes an appraiser will be hired to determine the value of the items.
Dividing the property between the couple
After the value of the property is determined, it can be divided up between the couple. Debts and bills are also fairly divided between the couple.