Division of Property in Florida
Determining how to divide shared assets and debts in a divorce is no easy task. Orlando divorce lawyer Stephen Caplan has extensive experience resolving all types of property disputes ranging from modest to high net-worth marital estates. He understands the nuances of Florida’s equitable distribution laws and is committed to protecting your personal and financial interests throughout the property division process.
Deciding to work with your spouse to reach an agreement allows both of you to have more control over the outcome instead of relying on a judge to decide who gets what. Attorney Caplan has successfully “brokered” fair and equitable property settlement agreements for countless divorcing couples. That said, he is always prepared and capable of advocating for you in family court if a fair agreement cannot be reached.
What is the Difference Between Marital Property and Separate Property?
One of the first steps in dividing property in a divorce is identifying whether the property is considered part of the marital estate or is separate.
Marital property includes all the assets and liabilities that you and/or your spouse acquired during the marriage. Marital property is subject to equal distribution regardless of ownership or title.
The most common types of marital assets include:
- bank accounts
- marital home
- real estate
- retirement accounts and IRA accounts 401K, 403B
- stocks, bonds
- personal possessions (jewelry, art)
- household furnishings
- insurance policies: medical, dental, life, homeowner
Liabilities often include:
- mortgage debt
- credit card debt
- student loans
- tax liens
- car loans
The only property that is not subject to division is the separate property which is property each spouse owned individually prior to the marriage. It also includes any inheritance or personal gifts received during the marriage.
Equitable Distribution of Assets and Liabilities
Florida is an equitable division state, meaning that each spouse is entitled to a “fair” share of the marital assets. However, fairness doesn’t always mean equal. A judge will consider several factors when allocating assets and debts including:
- the income of each spouse
- length of marriage
- age and health of both spouses
- child custody arrangement
- contributions of each party to the marriage
- contribution of one party to the career or educational opportunities of the other