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 . For example when one person moves into the otehr person's home after a marriage and their name gets put on the deed. However, if one person has their own money, in a bank account, and that money is never used jointly, or for "purposes related to the marriage" and there are no funds added by the other spouse, then that account would most likely remain nonmarital property.

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.