You may dissolve your marriage and begin your new life with a fair and equitable split of your marital assets. The Florida Legislature website notes that courts may divide all assets and liabilities acquired from the date of a couple’s marriage up to the date of a legal separation.
Couples generally do not divide spouses’ separate properties, which may include gifts and inheritances. If you or your soon-to-be ex-spouse acquired separate property, the court may require proof to leave it out of your marital estate. A title or written agreement generally proves an asset belongs to only one spouse.
Determining an equitable division
If you or your spouse cannot agree on a fair division, a divorce court may decide for you and split your assets in a manner the judge deems appropriate. Some factors a judge may review to determine fairness include each spouse’s income and contribution to acquiring their property.
If you own a home, a judge may consider how much a spouse worked to pay its mortgage. Staying home to care for children may reflect how much value a spouse contributed toward the home’s acquisition. Your home may also need a current appraisal to determine how much cash one spouse needs to pay the other to keep it.
Trading and selling marital property
Marital properties may trade between two divorcing spouses. The court, however, may also need to see how you intend to pay off your marital liabilities. In some cases, spouses may choose to negotiate or decide on which properties they could sell off to pay marital debts.
Overall, the Sunshine State’s laws allow divorcing spouses to negotiate their own equitable property division. You may achieve a more realistic and agreeable outcome by working out an agreement with your spouse rather than letting a judge decide.