Factors in Florida Division of Property
One of the biggest concerns for divorcing spouses is how to divide the marital property. Florida applies state statutes and the judge’s deference in determining who gets what in the divorce. Under Florida law, marital property is split under the concept of “equitable division.” Property is split according to what the judge deems is fair and not purely split in half.
Marital vs. Non-marital Property
During the division of assets, marital property is considered different than non-marital property. Marital property is all property that has been acquired during the course of the marriage. Non-marital property is everything that each spouse brought separately to the marriage, plus some additional items. Property acquired by gift, legacy, or inheritance, property acquired after an official judgment of legal separation, and property excluded by agreement during the marriage is also considered non-marital property.
The concept of equitable distribution only applies to the division of marital property in a divorce. All non-marital property returns to the spouse that brought it to the marriage or that acquired it during the marriage in one of the exempted areas.
Equitable Distribution Factors
The Florida family law courts consider many factors when determining the equitable distribution of marital property in a divorce. The court must begin with the premise that the distribution should be equal unless there is a justification for unequal distribution using the factors set forth in the statute. Under Florida law, judges may take into account the following:
- The contribution to the marriage by each spouse, including contributions to the care and education of the children and services as homemaker.
- The economic circumstances of the parties.
- The duration of the marriage.
- Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party.
- The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse.
- The desirability of retaining any asset, including an interest in a business, corporation, or professional practice, intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party.
- The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of, or the incurring of liabilities to, both the marital assets and the non-marital assets of the parties.
- The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage, or any other party, when it would be equitable to do so, it is in the best interest of the child or that party, and it is financially feasible for the parties to maintain the residence until the child is emancipated or until exclusive possession is otherwise terminated by a court of competent jurisdiction.
- The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition.
- Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
Let a Florida Family Law Attorney Help
If you or someone that you know is getting a divorce in Orlando or the greater central Florida area and has questions about the distribution of property, let Steve W. Marsee, P.A. help. Call at (407) 521-7171 or contact the office today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.