In Florida, property division follows the principle of equitable distribution. While this aims for fairness, it does not mean that the court will divide all assets equally. Certain assets are subject to division. However, it’s important to understand that there are those that are nonmarital and remain with the owning spouse.
This understanding is crucial for navigating the divorce process and ensuring a fair distribution of marital assets.
Nonmarital assets and liabilities
The court classifies assets into two categories, marital and nonmarital, based on specific conditions. Marital assets are those acquired by spouses during the marriage and are subject to division in the divorce process. On the other hand, courts do not divide nonmarital assets.
Florida law identifies specific conditions under which assets are considered nonmarital, including:
- Assets acquired before the marriage: Property or assets owned by either spouse before the marriage are not subject to division.
- Assets acquired by gift or inheritance: Property received as a gift or through inheritance during the marriage remains with the receiving spouse.
- Assets excluded by a valid written agreement: Provisions in prenuptial or postnuptial agreements can exclude certain assets from the division. So, the court considers them nonmarital and undividable.
To ensure a fair distribution of assets, it is crucial for each spouse to share their financial information with the court. This includes disclosing details about bank accounts, property ownership, retirement savings, taxes, income and debts.
Ensuring spouses get what they are entitled to
Understanding property division in Florida involves distinguishing between marital and nonmarital assets and being transparent about finances. By doing so, individuals can work toward a fair distribution of their marital assets. For those seeking help during divorce, they should consider consulting with a family law lawyer. Consulting one can help both parties be honest about their assets and prevent any potential hiding of marital assets that should be included in the division.