Understanding Division Of Property

The distribution of property in a Florida divorce is covered by Chapter 61 of the Florida statutes. Rather than being a community property state, such as California, Florida has adopted what is known as equitable distribution. Under the equitable distribution scheme, marital property is equitably divided between the parties.

The court will first award to each party their own nonmarital property such as property they had prior to the marriage, and which did not become marital property.

Nonmarital property, however, can become marital property — such as when one party brings a home into the marriage and places the other party on the deed. A bank account owned prior to the marriage, maintained by only one party during the marriage, not used for purposes related to the marriage or the other spouse and never having marital funds deposited in it would likely retain its separate, nonmarital classification.

Once a court has determined what is nonmarital (or a spouse's separate property) the court will then determine how to distribute the marital property. The court will look to the factors contained in the Florida statutes to determine how marital property should be divided.

As can be expected, much litigation occurs over the distribution of assets and liabilities in a dissolution of marriage in Florida. Often, to facilitate agreement over the distribution of assets and debt, the parties will attend a mediation whereby an independent third party (often a family law lawyer) will hear the arguments of both parties and work to achieve a reasonable agreement between them. This can then form the basis for a marital settlement agreement that can be filed in court.

Request A Consultation With A Knowledgeable Divorce Lawyer

As you move forward with your Florida divorce, understand your rights and the legal processes involved in dividing property between you and your spouse. Contact The Law Offices of Justin Rickman 352-394-2041 or complete our online intake form.