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When it comes to getting a divorce in Florida, one issue that commonly arises is that of asset distribution. Which assets are solely yours, and which assets belong to both you and your spouse?
In most cases, a divorcing couple considers their marital home to be their biggest asset - and the marital home continues to be one issue that is often contested. So how does a Florida divorce judge decide who gets to keep the home?
Non-marital property needs to be protected in a divorce. Division of marital property is quite different from enforcing your rights to your own non-marital property. Property you owned before you got married including inheritances or gifts can also be non-marital even if received during the marriage.
As we have talked about in previous articles, anything you owned before the marriage, whether from a gift or otherwise, is your non-marital property. What about gifts received during the marriage?
In every Florida divorce, the judge must determine what property owned by each spouse is marital and what property is non-marital.
When you woke up on the morning of your wedding day, you owned some things: a car, some clothes, a bank account, maybe a house. All of that remains your separate property during the marriage and does not get divided during a Florida divorce.
Not long before I started practicing law, the divorce laws did not allow the courts to divide a pension in a divorce. All of the other property got divided, but the spouse who had been working more and had a larger pension got to keep it all. Sometimes that result was extremely unfair.
The law requires that the assets and debts of the marriage are to be divided equitably. That technically means that it will be done fairly, but not necessarily equally. If a family court judge has a "substantial" reason to divide your marital property other than 50/50, the judge may do
The distribution of property in a divorce in Florida is covered by Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes. Rather than a community property state, such as California, Florida has adopted what is known as Equitable Distribution. Under the Equitable Distribution scheme, marital property is fairly divided between the parties.
During Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) and the dividing of assets, there is an administrative detail known as Valuation Date. The Valuation Date refers to the value of the assets on a certain day.
One of the most common issues I deal with as a family law practitioner pertains to the valuation and distribution of property in a divorce setting. Many people are surprised about what circumstances can and cannot affect the distribution of marital assets, having seen one too many television courtroom dramas.
For many families, a significant portion of their wealth may be located within the couple’s individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Should the family unit break down, it is therefore important to have an equitable and easy method to divide and transfer assets.
Alimony in Florida can be requested when one spouse needs financial assistance. In order to qualify for alimony, the requesting spouse must prove need and that the paying spouse is financially able to make the payments. Alimony is typically a set amount which is paid monthly for a set period of time or until certain circumstances occur, such as remarriage. Alimony is not as common as one may think. The Florida divorce court can award temporary alimony until the final divorce hearing is held. Then, at the final divorce hearing, the court can order permanent alimony if it is requested and necessary.
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