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In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse will reach an amicable settlement agreement as to central issues regarding your divorce, including property division, maintenance, and a parenting plan. An uncontested divorce puts you in charge of making critical decisions concerning how your marriage ends. You decide what is fair and reasonable.
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.
When the Florida court decides on the issue of child custody and visitation, the gender of the parents is not considered. For example, a mother will not automatically receive custody of the children just because she is the mother. The judge must only consider what is in the best interests of the child. Florida divorce law requires Shared Parental Responsibility. This means that even though the child may live with one parent, the other parent has equal say in raising the child. Each party must be consulted on the education, health, religion, and discipline of the child. And, if the parties cannot agree on these important issues, the judge will make the decisions.
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