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Fort Myers Florida Family Law Legal Blog

How do judges determine an equitable division of property?

On Behalf of | Aug 26, 2022 | Divorce |

During a marriage, some of the property may be primarily used by one spouse and some of it may be shared equally between the two. However, under Florida law, almost everything that a couple acquires during their marriage is shared between the two of them regardless of whose name is on the title or who used a particular piece of property.

This does not really matter during the marriage, but if they go through a divorce, they will need to divide all of their marital property. They will each keep their separate property, which generally includes property they owned prior to the marriage and some gifts or inheritances that they received during the marriage. However, the majority of property acquired during the marriage needs to be divided.

Even though the marital property is considered owned by both spouses, it does not necessarily need to be divided equally. Instead, under Florida law, the property needs to be divided equitably.

Factors used to determine an equitable division of assets

When determining an equitable division of marital property, the judges will analyze a number of different factors. These include, but are not limited to:

  • The contributions of each spouse to acquiring the property. The contributions include those of a spouse who stayed home to care for the children and allow the other to work
  • The economic circumstances of each spouse
  • How long the couple was married
  • How long a spouse’s career was stopped in order to allow the other spouse to advance in their career
  • The basis for keeping an asset such as a business that was run by one spouse during the marriage
  • Contributions of a spouse to increase the value of an asset
  • Whether one spouse intentionally dissipated assets by getting rid of them or spending excessively prior to the divorce

Property division can be a complicated part of a divorce in Florida. In some situations, just determining the value of certain property can be difficult. However, the division of property must occur and it must be done equitably. Experienced attorneys understand the property division process and may be able to guide one through the process.

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