How Does the Court Divide Property in a Divorce?

Property division is an essential part of a divorce, and it often is one of the last moves to completely separate your lives. Since it does involve finances, it also is typically one of the most difficult and complex parts of a divorce.

The Florida Statutes explains that the court will use the concept of equitable distribution when dividing your property.

Starting the process

To begin dividing your property, the court must first determine marital and nonmarital assets. Nonmartial assets are generally anything you owned prior to your marriage, inheritances, or gifts. You will each retain your own nonmarital property.

The court will then look at marital assets and debts to begin the process. In general, the court will try to equally divide the assets and debts.

Influencing the division

There are factors the court will look at that may influence the division. It will consider the things during your marriage that may have influenced your contributions to obtaining and sustaining the assets and debts. These include your careers, care of your children, and support of each other to obtain education or training for a job.

The court also looks at your desires to keep the assets. For example, the person who will have majority custody of the children may wish to retain the family home so that the children do not have to move. The court considers your financial situation after the divorce as well.

To finish things up, the court will look over the debts and divide them in a similar manner to which it divides the assets, considering also who holds the main responsibility for the debt if anyone.

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