How Property is Divided in a Florida Divorce

Our Jacksonville Divorce Lawyers Have Your Best Interests in Mind

The process of dividing assets can be a major point of contention in any divorce. Unlike many other states, Florida recognizes that some assets can be owned by either the husband or wife, and are not necessarily considered community property that must be valued, tallied, and then divided in a divorce settlement. Many times, it takes a Jacksonville divorce attorney to successfully argue that separate property be excluded from the equitable distribution of assets. Are you concerned about how your property will be divided? Owenby Law, P.A. is here to protect your best interests.

Looking for help? Contact Owenby Law, P.A. today for a free, 30-minute consultation.

What Does Florida Recognize to Be Separate Property?

In most cases, assets accumulated during the marriage are jointly owned. Whether a piece of property is jointly titled or in one spouse's name is immaterial. Some people assume that because they have purchased property with their own money and kept it in their name that they will be able to protect that asset from equitable distribution. Unless that item was purchased using separate property funds, this would not be true.

An asset is considered to be separate property if:

  • It was acquired by one of the spouse's prior to the marriage
  • One of the spouses received it as a gift from a person outside the marriage
  • The item in question was defined as separate property in a prenuptial agreement
  • It is income from an investment that is considered to be separate property
  • The item was purchased or exchanged with separate property

How Equitable Distribution Works in a Florida Divorce

Anything that is not determined to be separate property is considered marital property and is subject to equitable distribution. However, this does not mean that all assets must be divided 50/50, nor does it means that all of the property must be sold for cash to distribute the assets equitably. The parties can agree to divide their property any way they see fit. For instance, consider a husband who is in the military and owns a house.

The wife would be entitled to a portion of his military pension and he and she would each be entitled to 50% of the equity in the home. The wife might waive her claim to the pension in exchange for the equity in the house. It is not necessary for the value of the two items in question to be equal. Most equity bargaining of this nature is negotiated through the spouses' respective divorce lawyers, or it is decided by the court.

The courts in Florida are also allowed to consider other factors, such as:

  • The length of time that the couple was married
  • Each spouse’s financial and economic circumstances
  • Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage
  • Each spouse’s contribution to acquiring income
  • Sacrifices that either spouse made for the other’s career
  • Liabilities or debts incurred by either of the spouses
  • Either spouse’s intentional dissipation of marital assets

Thinking About Divorce? File with Owenby Law, P.A. at Your Side.

Equitable distribution of property has been known to create difficulties during even the most amicable of divorces. If you are seeking a divorce in Jacksonville or anywhere else in Duval County, don’t wait to retain our firm’s high-caliber family law services. Owenby Law, P.A. has helped thousands of families throughout the local community, so you can trust that your case will be handled with the level of professionalism it deserves.

For a team-based approach to your case, contact our Jacksonville family law attorneys.