The decision to marry is often based on emotions. Unfortunately, when a marriage ends, the matter of determining which spouse gets which assets cannot be based on emotions as this would likely result in an unfair agreement. In order to protect each party, Florida has specific laws regarding property division during the settlement proceedings.
While there are a handful of states that are community property states where the assets and property that are accumulated during a marriage are considered jointly owned and are therefore usually divided in half, the majority of states subscribe to the equitable distribution policy. This means that a court will strive to ensure that the division is equitable, though not necessarily equal. In order to arrive at an equitable split, the court will take several factors into consideration.
These factors will include the amount and effort that each spouse contributed to the marriage. The role and sacrifices that each party may have contributed, including whether a spouse was a stay-at-home parent instead of working outside of the home. The current economic situation of each spouse will be reviewed as will how long the marriage lasted and the value of assets that each may have brought into the marriage.
The court will also take into consideration the sacrifices one spouse may have made for their spouse or whether one spouse was deemed wasteful with income or other assets within a 24-month period before or during a divorce petition. The courts will also review both marital and individual assets and the value of those assets in relation to the needs of the both parties. The courts will also review any prenuptial agreements that the couple may have signed. Florida residents may benefit from working with an experienced attorney in order to ensure that their property division settlement will provide them with a financially sound future.