In Florida, the division of property and debts during a divorce is called Equitable Distribution. Thus, in a Florida divorce case, the Judge will need to determine how to divide marital assets. Typically, the first step in the process is to determine whether either party has separate or “non-marital” property, which is not subject to equitable distribution. Property is considered to be non-marital if one spouse owned it before marriage, acquired it during marriage as a gift (not including gifts from the other spouse) or by inheritance. Additional common non-marital assets include assets defined as a non-marital in a signed agreement between the parties and income from separate property which has not been commingled.
Classifying property as marital or non-marital is often not as straightforward as it seems and can be complex. If you need assistance with how to divide marital assets in a Florida divorce contact a Tampa divorce lawyer for counsel. Many divorce law firms in Tampa will offer a free initial consultation to address matters such as these.
How to Divide Marital Assets Under Florida Divorce Law 61.075
Florida Divorce Law 61.075 governs a court’s determination of what is marital and non-marital property and therefore how to divide marital assets. Some examples of marital assets include the following: real property held as tenants by the entirety; inter-spousal gifts, retirement benefits, assets acquired during the marriage, and enhancement in value and appreciation of non-marital assets. It is important to keep in mind, marital liabilities are also subject to equitable distribution in a divorce. Therefore, a credit card balance incurred during the marriage may be classified as marital property.
How to Divide Marital Assets with an Unequal Distribution
Generally, the judge in a Florida divorce case will start with the premise of dividing marital assets 50/50 between the two parties. In Florida, the law requires that a court equally distribute a marital asset unless a “legally sufficient justification for an unequal distribution is given based on the relevant statutory factors.” Foley v. Foley, 19 So. 3d 1031, 1032 (Fla. 5th DCA 2009). For help with how to unequally divide marital assets contact a divorce attorney in Tampa. Obtaining an unequal distribution of a marital asset in Florida can be very difficult without legal counsel.
These relevant statutory factors under Florida Statute 61.075 include the following:
(a) The contribution to the marriage by each spouse
(b) The economic circumstances of the parties.
(c) The duration of the marriage.
(d) Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party.
(e) The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse.
(f) The desirability of retaining any asset, including an interest in a business, corporation, or professional practice, intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party.
(g) The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of, or the incurring of liabilities to, both the marital assets and the nonmarital assets of the parties.
(h) The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage.
(i) The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition.
Tampa Divorce Law Firm
If you are contemplating filing for divorce and are concerned about how to divide marital assets, call us today to speak with divorce attorney in Tampa. Our divorce lawyers have years of experience helping people with their divorce and child custody disputes. Every divorce is different, and our vast experience allows us to cater our services to each client’s individual situation. Whether a couple mutually agrees to the terms of a divorce or are engaged in a fierce battle for their property and child custody rights, Florida Law Advisers, P.A. can help. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and offer a free initial consultation. Call us today at 800 990 7763 to speak with a divorce attorney in Tampa.