Who gets what in a divorce?
Once a couple decides to dissolve their marriage or one of the parties is considering filing for divorce, many questions come to mind. Financial stability following the divorce is always in the mind of the parties. The way in which the assets and debts will be split between the parties is a frequent question and should be considered in the devising of any divorce strategy.
Types of Assets
For purposes of the division and distribution of assets during a dissolution of marriage proceeding, it is important to differentiate between marital and nonmarital assets. Generally, only marital assets are included in the assets to be divided and distributed upon the dissolution.
Under Florida law, marital assets include:
- Assets acquired during the marriage, whether individually or jointly;
- Increased value of nonmarital assets due to the contribution of marital funds;
- Gifts from one spouse to the other during the marriage;
- Benefits and rights of pensions, retirement plans and investment accounts; and
- Any real or personal property owned jointly by both spouses whether or not acquired during the marriage.
Non marital assets include:
- Assets acquired prior to the marriage;
- Assets received by any of the parties as a gift (not from their spouse); and
- Any assets that the parties have agreed in writing to be considered nonmarital.
How are assets and liabilities distributed?
The Florida Statutes regulating the dissolution of marriage indicate “equity” as the principle by which assets and liabilities will be divided. An equitable distribution of assets, means, in principle, that all marital assets and liabilities will be split equally between the parties. However, the court will also evaluate the following factors to determine if a distribution in different proportions is necessary:
- Contributions made by each party to the marriage as well as to the improvement of the marital assets or to the nonmarital assets of the other party, and the economic circumstances of each party;
- Duration of the marriage;
- Whether any of the spouses interrupted their careers and if any of the parties contributed to their spouses’ career;
- Whether any of the spouses wishes to maintain any assets such as interests in a business, from the other party;
- Whether the parties wish to maintain the family home as a residence for the children and if it is financially feasible for the parties to do so; and
- Any intentional destruction of marital assets by any of the parties.
Let Us Help You Today
Distribution of assets is one of the most complex issues when dealing with a divorce. A family law attorney will be able to help you navigate the process. If you have any questions or need assistance in a divorce proceeding, contact the Fort Lauderdale family attorneys at the office of Joyce A. Julian, P.A. at 954-467-6656 or visit us online to schedule a free consultation.