One of the main things that will need to be addressed and resolved in a Florida divorce is property distribution. Within the issue of property distribution, other issues will naturally arise and need to be handled. This can be one of the more complex things that needs to be handled in a divorce. It is also something that needs to be approached with great care as property distribution can have a far-reaching impact on the financial futures of both parties involved.
Common Property Distribution Issues
Florida is an equitable division state. This means that, in a divorce, Florida law mandates that the property be divided between spouses in a manner that is equitable, or fair. Equitable does not mean equal, although sometimes it turns out that property is equally divided because it is deemed equitable. In order to divide the property in an equitable manner, a judge will weigh all factors relevant to accomplishing an equitable result. These factors include:
- The length of the marriage
- The economic circumstances of each spouse
- Whether there were any interruptions in a spouse’s career or education
- The contributions each spouse made to the marriage, including parenting responsibilities
- The contribution of each spouse to acquiring or increasing income
- The contribution of each spouse to supporting and promoting the career or educational opportunities of the other spouse
- The contribution of each spouse to increase the value of marital or non-marital assets
These factors are considered when determining how fairly to divide the marital estate, which is one of the major property distribution issues that may arise during a divorce. Each side will present evidence as to why they deserve a certain portion of the marital assets. Before the assets can even be divided, however, another central issue to property distribution arises.
Before the marital property can be divided, it needs to be determined what property is marital property and what property is non-marital, or “separate,” property. Only marital property will be divided. Separate property will remain in the possession of the respective spouse. Essentially, marital property includes everything either spouse acquired during the marriage, with some exceptions. Non-marital property includes property a spouse owned prior to the marriage, or property acquired during the marriage as a gift or an inheritance.
Once the property has been classified as marital or non-marital property, everything will need to be assigned a monetary value. This is another big issue in property distribution. Most items will be valued according to current market value, but this can be difficult to determine. Sometimes professional appraisers will need to be employed. However, professional appraisers will vary in opinion and both sides will need to be presented to the court. Financial assets, in particular, can be difficult to value and require the help of a financial professional.
Florida Divorce Attorneys
Property division in a divorce has a far-reaching impact on the parties involved. You want a solid advocate by your side to make sure you are getting what you should. The dedicated divorce attorneys at Orlando Family Team are committed to advocating for the best interests of our clients. Contact us today.