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Untangling marital assets in divorce

When a couple gets married, the last thing they are thinking about is separating their property from one another -- in fact, the ambition to demonstrate a commitment to the marriage couples often end up comingling their assets and incomes. No one wants to think of what would happen if the couple divorces, because it is the last thing couples assume would happen. But if it does, then the question that arises is how does asset division take place in Florida?

Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that in the event of a divorce, the judge will decide what is equitable and fair. As per Chapter 61 of the Civil Practice and Procedure Code, this means the judge begins asset distribution under the assumption that the distribution should be equal. Therefore, in order to get an unequal distribution, it would be upon the parties to prove a number of factors that the judge would consider.

The factors include the contribution that each partner has made to the marriage, including the contributions to care and education of children, duration of the marriage, and each party's education. The court will also look at whether any party interrupted their personal careers or educational opportunities and if they contributed to the personal career and educational opportunities of their spouse. Among other factors, the court will also look at whether the desire to retain the family home is for retaining children within the house. Lastly, courts will consider any additional factors that are necessary to be considered to do equity and justice between the parties.

Going through a divorce is hard enough, but when it involves complex asset division, it can include having to deal with various appraisers and evaluators and filing out various complicated asset disclosure forms. An experienced attorney may be able to guide Florida residents through the process.

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