How debts and assets are divided are some of the most important and impactful decisions made during the divorce process. As a result, the topic can leave divorcing spouses with a sense of apprehension and an awful lot of questions. Who gets what? Is it a 50-50 split? What about the baseball cards I've been collecting since I was 16? Or the antique brooch I inherited from my grandmother? Fortunately, Good Life Legal has answers.
What You Need to Know About Asset and Debt Division in a Florida Divorce
In the Sunshine State, the term “assets” refers to property and valuables like cars, houses, bank accounts, and retirement benefits, as well as debts such as mortgages, credit card accounts, and car loans. Florida divorce law recognizes two types of assets: marital assets, which are those acquired by either spouse during the marriage, and non-marital assets, which are those held by either spouse before they were married. If kept separate from marital property, non-marital assets are often exempt from division.
Ideally, you and your spouse would come to a mutually beneficial agreement on how to divide your property and financial obligations. However, if that isn't possible, the court will do it for you according to a legal standard known as equitable distribution. Under this standard, the court starts with the position that property and liabilities acquired during the marriage be split equally, then adjusts distribution based on factors such as:
- How long the marriage lasted
- Each spouse's economic circumstances
- Whether one spouse contributed to the education or career of the other, either financially or by setting aside their own education and career goals
- Whether one spouse interrupted their career or education to care for the marital home or the couple's children
- Each spouse's wage-earning, parenting, and homemaking contributions
- Whether one spouse intends to continue living in the marital home with the couple's minor children
- Whether one spouse depleted or destroyed marital assets after the divorce papers were filed (or in the two years prior)
Consult a Skilled Florida Divorce Attorney
Divorcing in Florida? Find out how Good Life Legal can help you achieve your goals for asset and debt division. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.