You undoubtedly know that you will need to divide your property in a Florida divorce. But do you understand what property you must split and how you must do it?
If you wanted to leave everything to your spouse, or they wanted to leave you with everything, no one will stop you. Courts are usually happy to sign off on any mutual agreements you come to. However, the reality is that you will both want to keep some assets and often, there can be friction over this.
What is marital, and what is separate property?
The separate property stays separate, and you do not have to share it. It is only marital property that a court would divide. Florida considers separate assets as:
- Things you owned pre-marriage
- Income from those pre-marital assets, unless you used it as marital income
- Anything that a pre or postnuptial agreement makes clear will remain separate property
- Inheritances and gifts that someone gave to only one of you
- Any debts a spouse took on by forging their spouse’s signature
If something does not fall into one of those categories, then it is almost certainly a marital asset in the eyes of the law.
Do we need to split marital assets 50:50?
Not necessarily. If you cannot agree on the split, a court would consider several factors and try to find what it considers a fair or “equitable distribution.”
Those factors include marriage length, your roles in the marriage and its break up, your prospects, and the other wealth you hold separately.
Property division can be complex, so be sure to get help to understand your rights and advocate for them.