When one enters a divorce negotiation in Florida, they need to have an idea of how a court would divide the assets if the matter ever went in front of a judge. While almost all divorce cases get settled, one should be informed because it could impact their strategy when it comes to property division.
First, the court will remove separate property from what is to be divided. This includes property that one had before the marriage. However, if the separate property becomes commingled with marital property, it becomes subject to division.
There is no magic answer as to how a judge would try to divide the property, and really the best advice that can be given is that it depends. The court will look at a number of different factors and any one of them can be dispositive. The judge may scrutinize the length of the marriage and how much each spouse earned. Future earning power may also be a factor. There is very little predictability as to what a court may do, leaving plenty of uncertainty that many wish to avoid. In addition, debt will also be divided between the spouses, although the rules will be different in community property and equitable distribution states. When it comes to debt in Florida, it is not certain that it will be divided between the spouses on a 50-50 basis.
The best way to avoid court is to settle the divorce. Property division is one of the thornier issues in a marriage, especially when there are no kids. Thus, one needs an attorney who can handle cases of property division – focusing on high net worth divorces. Many couples will go right up to the edge of a court hearing before settling. The need to consult a divorce attorney is even more pronounced when the couple has a high net-worth with many assets to account for in the settlement agreement.