It is a common misconception that when two people end a marriage, the property that they own will always be evenly divided and distributed to the individuals following their divorce. While in some states, the concept of community property and equal ownership are the law, this is not the case in Florida. Rather than making an exact split down the middle of a couple’s shared property, a Florida court will examine a number of factors before determining how the parties’ property should be handled.
First, property must be classified as either marital or separate. While marital property is property that both partners own together, separate property is owned exclusively by one of the marital partners. Separate property owned during a marriage remains the separate property of the owner after their marriage has ended.
Once the court has an idea of the marital property’s value, it will look at factors like the length of the couple’s marriage, the health of the parties, and their capacities to earn money after the relationship has been terminated. The court may consider, for instance, iif one party is likely to receive a large inheritance from a relative.
Generally, courts do not want the parties to end their marriage without the means to support themselves or to continue their lives as single people. As such, the determinations that they make regarding the split of a couple’s marital property will be case-specific and dependent upon the unique factors present in the particular case. Readers are asked to discuss their property division concerns with their divorce attorneys as individual cases must be evaluated on their own merits.