How are Assets Divided in a Divorce
Anyone who is planning for a divorce in Brandon or is considering the possibility of divorce may be wondering about how assets are divided in a Florida divorce. Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that all assets will be divided in a way that the court considers to be fair or equitable to both parties, as opposed to splitting the assets 50/50 between the parties. Yet before assets can be divided in a Brandon divorce, the court must first determine whether those assets should be classified as separate (non-marital) property or as marital property. Then, only marital property will be divided in the divorce and will be distributed between the spouses equitably. Our Brandon family law attorneys can provide you with more information about the division of marital assets in a divorce.
Classifying Assets in a Divorce Case
Before the court can divide any assets in a Brandon divorce, it will need to determine whether assets should be classified as separate or marital property. Both spouses will be required to provide a full accounting of all property. If you have concerns that your spouse is trying to conceal assets, you should speak with a divorce lawyer in Brandon about working with a forensic accountant in order to identify any hidden property so that it can be properly classified and, if appropriate, divided in the divorce.
How are assets classified prior to division? Any assets acquired prior to the date of the marriage will be classified as separate property. These assets will not be divided in a divorce. Then, in general, any assets acquired after the date of the marriage by either spouse will be considered marital property and will be divisible unless one of the following is true:
- Asset was inherited by only one of the spouses;
- Asset was a gift to one of the spouses from a third party; or
- Asset is expressly excluded from property division through a valid prenuptial agreement.
In some cases, separate and marital assets have been mixed or “commingled.” If assets have been commingled, the court will try to determine which percentage or portion is separate property and which is marital property.
Determining What an Equitable Distribution of Assets Looks Like
Once the court classifies marital assets that are divisible, it will divide them. According to the Florida Statutes, the court will “begin with the premise that the distribution should be equal unless there is a justification for an unequal distribution based on all relevant factors.” It will look to the following factors cited in the Florida Statutes to determine what an equitable distribution of those assets will look like:
- Contribution to the marriage by each spouse, including contributions to the care and education of the children and services as homemaker;
- Economic circumstances of the parties;
- Duration of the marriage;
- Any interruption of personal careers or education opportunities of either party;
- Contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse;
- Desirability of retaining any asset;
- Contributing of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of . . . both the marital assets and nonmarital assets of the parties;
- Desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage, or any other party;
- Intentional dissipation . . . of marital assets; and/or
- Any other factories necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
Contact a Brandon Divorce Attorney
Our experienced Brandon divorce lawyers can speak with you today about the division of assets in your Florida divorce. Contact Carman Bevington & Finegan today for assistance.