Does the Court Split Everything 50/50 in Divorce?
Florida courts split assets equitably in divorce, first distinguishing between marital and non-marital property. In doing so, courts try to distribute assets equally, unless there is good reason not to.
Factors Judge Considers
A Florida judge will consider many factors in deciding how to split a couple’s assets in divorce, including but not limited to:
- The contribution to the marriage by each spouse;
- The economic circumstances of the parties;
- The duration of the marriage;
- Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party;
- The desirability of retaining any asset free from any claim or interference by the other party (including any businesses and/or private practices);
- The contribution of each spouse to the marital and nonmarital assets (such as the acquisition, enhancement, or liability associated with property);
- The desirability and need of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage when it would be equitable to do so, it is in the best interest of the child or that party, and it is financially feasible until the child is emancipated;
- Any intentional destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition; and
- Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
Marital Versus Nonmarital Property
Nonmarital and marital property is generally distinguished by whether it was acquired before or after marriage. Specifically, Florida state law defines marital property (and liabilities) as including:
- Assets acquired during the marriage, individually or jointly;
- The enhancement in value and appreciation of any nonmarital assets resulting from either party or the expenditure of marital funds and/or or other assets;
- Interspousal gifts during the marriage; and
- All vested and nonvested benefits, rights, and funds accrued during the marriage in retirement, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, deferred compensation, and insurance plans and programs.
Nonmarital assets can include:
- Assets acquired by either party prior to the marriage;
- Assets acquired separately by noninterspousal gift, bequest, devise, or descent;
- All income derived from nonmarital assets during the marriage (unless the income was treated, used, or relied upon by the parties as a marital asset); and
- Assets excluded from marital assets by valid written agreement of the parties.
What about Commingled Property?
Division of assets during divorce can get confusing because couples often commingle or combine both marital and nonmarital property while they are married. Often, spouses are unable to decide how to split these assets during divorce, necessitating the assistance of an experienced family law attorney.
Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A.
An attorney or mediator is typically very helpful in navigating the process of dividing assets during divorce. If you are facing divorce or any other family law issue and you live in Fort Lauderdale or Boca Raton, contact Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. to schedule a consultation and learn more about our services and how we can assist you.