Property Division in Florida
When a couple has chosen to dissolve their marriage, a number of areas will need to be worked out. One of these includes the division of property. Splitting up property between the two parties can vary from state to state, and will be dependent on local laws. Property may include vehicles, a home, bonds, credit card accounts, real estate, stocks and other items that carry a value. Debts will need to be divided as well. Work with a Winter Springs divorce lawyer to optimize the outcome of your divorce and to make sure that your interests are looked out for. You can also turn to a professional to work with you and your spouse through a collaborative divorce.
The state of Florida is an equitable distribution state, and has a specific law that governs how property is to be divided during a divorce. In equitable distribution, property will be divided in an equitable manner, and this does not always mean it will be equal. Each party will be awarded based on a number of factors, particularly their contributions to the marriage. This does not only mean that they were financially contributing but this could be done in other ways, such as a stay at home parent. Other factors that will be considered include how long the marriage lasted and the financial position that each person is in. Some states may choose the route of community property, which will divide property through an even split. This can leave some people at a loss and equitable distribution can allow the opportunity to show why a person has a certain claim to property in the marriage.
Marital & Separate Property
The property that is divided in equitable distribution will only include the marital assets. These are assets that either spouse gained during the time of the marriage, excluding those that were bought with separate property, are excluded through a written agreement or income earned separate property. Separate property is what is considered to belong personally to one of the parties. They would have acquired it prior to entering into the marriage. Some types of separate property could have been gained during the marriage and this would include an inheritance or gift specific to that individual.
Separate property can often become intertwined in marital property and this can be referred to as commingling. It is important to keep this distinction between which property is what, otherwise the rightful owner might find themselves at a disadvantage. If a profit is made from separate property, the original amount will remain separate and the profit amount will be considered marital property. When the court looks at how property should be divided, they look at the overall financial value. Items will typically not be divided but each party will receive property that amounts to the percentage they are awarded. One spouse may receive the house and the other spouse can receive the vacation condo.
Assets will need to be assessed to determine their worth so that division is fair. If a couple cannot do this on their own, an appraiser can help. The division of property will need to take place prior to alimony being awarded and it can influence the final results. A couple can make the decision of how they will divide their property together, or it will be left up to the court if they are unable to do so.