What Factors Affect Property Division In A Florida Divorce?
Property division is an issue that almost all parties will need to address when going through the Florida divorce process, and you may be familiar with the basics. Unlike a handful of other US states that apply a community property approach, Florida divorce laws require equitable distribution of all marital property. As such, property division is a two-step process of classifying assets, keeping items owned before marriage, gifts, inheritances, and others as nonmarital. All marital property is then divided between the parties according to the interests of equity, which means fairness rather than an exact 50-50 split.
Florida lawmakers did not leave the definition of equitable entirely open to interpretation, so the property division statute includes several factors that impact a judge’s decision. The law even impacts other aspects of divorce, including alimony and issues related to minor children. It is important to count on a Dade City property division lawyer for guidance with the specifics, but an overview of the statutory factors is important.
Statutory Factors for Equitable Division
After classifying each party’s separate property, a judge will consider the following issues to make an award of property division:
- Each party’s contribution to the marital relationship, including providing for the needs of children and supporting the household;
- The duration of the marriage;
- Whether either party’s career or educational opportunities were disrupted to support the family;
- How one spouse contributed to the career and educational opportunities for the other during the marriage;
- Implications when one spouse wants to continue a family business, corporation, professional practice, or other company free from interference by the other party;
- Whether it is desirable to retain the family home as a residence for minor children;
- Misconduct by one party, such as waste, dissipation, damage, or destruction of assets during divorce proceedings or within 2 years prior to filing for divorce.
Options for Resolving Property Division Issues
Of course, a judge may not be the one making the decision if the parties opt for non-litigation options to divide assets. The statute only applies when there are disputes and the court must hold a contested hearing to decide an equitable division of marital property. Florida divorce laws actually encourage parties to agree on how to distribute items acquired during the marriage, and the benefits include:
- You have control over how assets are classified as marital or separate property, as there can be blurred lines with certain items.
- The parties can work out a division of property that supports the needs of children.
- You have certainty when working out property division by agreement. Based upon the factors listed above, you can see how a judge could go either way in some areas.
Speak to a Florida Divorce Attorney About Property Division Factors
To learn more about Florida’s equitable distribution law for property division in divorce, please contact The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane in Dade City, FL. You can call 352-567-0055 or go online to set up a consultation. After reviewing your circumstances, we can provide personalized details on how the laws affect your case.