Each state has its own way of dividing assets when couples divorce. Here is how it works in Florida.
Florida uses the equitable distribution method. A judge will look to reach a fair split after considering several factors. For example, each partner’s separate assets, future earning potential, contribution to the marriage and the total length of the marriage.
Not all assets get divided
You only need to divide those assets that the court considers marital property. It typically means:
- Assets acquired after you got married
- Increases in the value of investments since you married
What does not get divided
Separate or non-marital assets do not get divided. These include:
- Gifts given to one person by anyone apart from the spouse
- Assets protected by a prenuptial agreement
- An asset owned by one party before the marriage that is still clearly separable
Sometimes couples use the assets that they owned pre-marriage as if they were marital assets to the point that drawing a clear line is no longer possible. The official term for this is commingled assets. In this case, a court will tend to divide them as if they were marital property.
Those are the guidelines. It is up to you to present your case as to why you should get a certain share of assets, or retain specific assets. Getting legal help to present your property division requests will be crucial. If you can reach an agreement over things with your spouse, it is typically better than leaving it to a judge to decide.