One of the most complicated aspects of a divorce is the division of marital assets. Throughout the course of a marriage, spouses often develop emotional attachments to certain items, secure increases in pay, purchase a home and build assets together. Although it can be difficult to decide which property belongs to which partner, there are laws in Florida related to this process.
Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means courts must always go into divorce proceedings with a baseline of equal property sharing between spouses. From there, the judge will hear from both parties and their legal counsel to interpret what is fair for both parties. However, this does not mean that marital property will be split exactly in half.
Adjusting distribution rates
After starting the divorce hearing with the assumption of an equal split, the judge will take into consideration key information both parties present. This might include the profession and income of each partner, the duration of the marriage and the conditions under which the property was obtained.
There are certain circumstances that may further complicate the process. For example, if a couple has young children, the primary caretaker parent may be awarded the house as a way to maintain a stable family life. Further, if one spouse is found to have wasted marital funds on unnecessary personal items or lavish trips, the court may award more assets and property to the other spouse.
Finally, the judge presiding over the hearing may adjust the total amount of property provided to each spouse if he or she feels as though one partner has sacrificed more for the sake of the family unit than the other. More often than not, this adjustment takes place when one spouse has left behind a career to take care of the couple’s children.
For further legal guidance on property division and divorce in Florida, work with the trusted Tampa Bay divorce attorneys at the Law Office of K. Dean Kantaras.