Among the many things that will be discussed during divorce proceedings is the division of property.
Which properties will be eligible? And who is entitled to what?
When undergoing divorce proceedings, the court will first determine what is nonmarital property and what is marital property. Nonmarital property generally is property that one spouse acquired before becoming married.
After that, the court must identify and value the marital property, which includes all of the assets and liabilities that are not characterized as nonmarital.
Here in the Sunshine State, marital property is generally distributed equally regardless of income or who made the investment in the asset or debt. However, that rule does not apply if there is significant justification for not distributing property equally. Florida statute says such factors are to be considered:
-The contribution to the marriage by each spouse, including contributions to the care and education of the children and services as homemaker.
-The economic circumstances of the parties.
-The duration of the marriage.
-Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party.
-The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse.
-The desirability of retaining any asset, including an interest in a business, corporation, or professional practice, intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party.
-The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of, or the incurring of liabilities to, both the marital assets and the nonmarital assets of the parties.
-The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage, or any other party, when it would be equitable to do so, it is in the best interest of the child or that party, and it is financially feasible for the parties to maintain the residence until the child is emancipated or until exclusive possession is otherwise terminated by a court of competent jurisdiction. In making this determination, the court shall first determine if it would be in the best interest of the dependent child to remain in the marital home; and, if not, whether other equities would be served by giving any other party exclusive use and possession of the marital home.
-The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition.
-Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
If considering divorce, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney who can answer all relevant questions, including those about the distribution of property.
Raleigh “Lee” Greene is an attorney that focuses on complex divorce cases. To contact a St. Petersburg divorce lawyer, Clearwater divorce attorney, or Tampa divorce lawyer, visit Tampabaydivorcefirm.com or call (727) 821-2900.