How Are Assets Divided In A Florida Divorce?
Dividing assets during divorce is sometimes very challenging. When significant assets are involved, or the divorce is very contentious, it becomes even more complicated. If you are getting a divorce in Florida, it is critical that you know how assets are divided so you know what to expect and so you can try to protect the assets that are most important to you.
Reaching an Agreement with Your Spouse
Spouses can reach an agreement about all terms of their divorce, including property division. Doing this can keep the matter out of court so property division matters move swiftly, and it gives spouses more control over the process.
When reaching an agreement, spouses should create a list of all marital assets subject to division. These are only assets acquired by the couple during the marriage. The most important assets to include in this list are the marital home and any other properties, such as vacation homes, valuable jewelry and artwork, vehicles, retirement plans, bank accounts, and any household items, such as appliances and furniture.
As long as the agreement on division of property is fair, a judge will approve it. For example, even if the spouses agreed that only one party would receive all marital assets, a judge would likely not approve the agreement.
Factors a Judge will Consider
Spouses who cannot agree on property division matters will have to go to court so a judge can decide. Florida law requires an equitable distribution of marital assets. Under the law, a judge must divide marital assets fairly, although not necessarily equally. A judge will take many factors into consideration when dividing marital assets, including:
- The contribution each spouse made to the marriage, including the care and education of the children, and homemaker services
- The financial situation of each spouse
- The length of the marriage
- Any interruption of educational opportunities or personal careers of either spouse
- Any contribution of one spouse to the other party’s education or career
- The desire of either spouse to retain ownership of a business or professional practice without any interference of their spouse
- The desire of keeping the marital home as a residence for minor children of the marriage, or for one of the spouses
Judges do not always make these decisions on their own. Sometimes, professionals with financial expertise need to testify about the value of certain assets, particularly when it comes to complex assets such as retirement funds. These individuals are also often consulted even when spouses reach an agreement without any interference from the court.
Our Divorce Attorneys in Tampa Can Assist with Division of Property
The division of marital assets is often one of the most complicated aspects of divorce. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our Tampa asset & debt division attorneys can differentiate between marital and non-marital property, negotiate an agreement with your spouse, and represent you in court, if necessary. Call us today at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation so we can review your case. Se habla Español.