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Laws regarding property division upon divorce vary greatly from state to state. The following information is intended to provide you with a basic understanding of property division in a Florida divorce case.
Florida is an equitable distribution jurisdiction. That means we start with a presumption of a 50/50 split.
Marital property in Florida is anything acquired during the marriage with money earned during the Marriage. It does not matter whose name the asset is titled in.
Non-marital property in Florida is property that is not included in the marital estate and is thus not subject to division by the court. Instead, whichever party owns the non-marital asset will keep that asset after the divorce.
The general rule in a Florida divorce is that the court considers and divides up the “marital” property of the spouses and that the non-marital property of each party remains with the spouse that owns that particular property.
In dividing up the marital property, the court is expected to be guided by principles of equity, making sure that the marital property division treats both spouses in a fair (but not necessarily in an exactly similar) manner. Although a property division might not necessarily be 50/50, the property division should be such that each party is treated fairly and exits the divorce with a similar amount of the marital estate
Marital property is divided by the court in a Florida divorce. Florida Statute 61.075 describes what constitutes marital property. It includes:
Tenants by the entireties offers certain protections and benefits for married couples; however, owning property in this manner will result in the court presuming the property so held is a marital asset. If one spouse wants the court to treat the property differently in a divorce, he or she has the burden of showing that the presumption is incorrect and that the property is in fact separate, non-marital property. He or she must do so by “clear and convincing evidence.”
Non-marital property is property that is not included in the marital estate and is thus not subject to division by the court. Instead, whichever party owns the non-marital asset will keep that asset after the divorce. Non-marital property includes:
Assets and property are not the only things that get divided during a divorce; the liabilities and the debts of the Spouses get divided as well. Similar to assets and property, liabilities are classified as either non-marital or as marital liabilities, depending on who incurred the debt and when it was incurred. If a debt is found to be non-marital, then the spouse who incurred the debt will be singularly responsible for the full debt following the divorce. If, on the other hand, the liability is found to be marital, the court may order that both parties continue paying the debt jointly or that some marital assets be sold in order to satisfy the debt. For instance, Tom’s student loans incurred before marriage will likely continue to be his separate debt, whereas credit cards used for purchases during the marriage will likely be considered a marital liability.
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