Dividing property is often one of the greatest challenges when filing for divorce in Florida. It is very easy to get overwhelmed when trying to untangle the complicated financial issues, especially when also confronting the emotional aspects of the process as well. However, it is important to understand that there is a method to the madness, and your attorney can help guide you through the process.
The general rule is that Florida is an “Equitable Distribution” state, and marital property, property acquired during the marriage with marital funds or labor, will be divided equally upon divorce (unless there is a reason for an unequal division). Non-marital property, assets and liabilities acquired before the marriage, remains the sole and separate property of the spouse upon divorce.
Marital property is property acquired during the marriage with marital income or labor. Such property is considered marital property regardless of whose name is on the title of the property. If the property is acquired during a marriage with marital income or labor, those are marital assets.
Florida takes an equitable distribution approach to marital property upon divorce, so all marital property is divided equally between the spouses. While the presumption is that all marital property will be divided equally, the court may allow the marital property to be divided unequally as long as the result is equitable.
Courts allow for unequal distribution of marital assets in instances of marital misconduct coupled with an intentional dissipation of marital assets (i.e., waste of marital assets). Examples of this include marital funds being spent on an extramarital affair, gambled away, or used to support a drug addiction.
If you have any questions regarding equitable distribution of martial property you should enlist the services of a forensic accountant. Contact us for help at www.consultac.com.