Divorce is never easy. Dividing your assets and property can be stressful in even the best circumstances. During a divorce, property division often becomes a contentious issue. Who will get the marital home? How will the judge decide to divide your property? Is Florida a community property state?
What Is Community Property?
Community property states consider both spouses to co-own all marital assets and debts jointly. These states distribute marital property and debts in half. There are 10 community property states in the country. Florida is not a community property state. Florida follows the equitable distribution rule.
Equitable Distribution in Florida
Florida divorce law calls for an equitable distribution of property during divorce. This means that the court determines what is considered fair and equitable when dividing assets and debts.
Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes outlines the distribution of property in Florida divorces. The court must begin with the premise that assets and debts should be divided equally between both parties. However, when determining what is fair and equitable, the court must also consider many factors. These factors include:
- Both spouses’ incomes
- Earning capabilities
- Health conditions that incur greater expenses
- Any large inheritances in the future
- Expensive gifts that are separate property
- Duration of the marriage
- Contribution to the marriage by both spouses
- Dependent children
- Intentional destruction of marital assets before the divorce
Note that property division issues come second to issues involving children. The court will consider custody, support and parenting time in the best interests of the children before dividing assets and debts.
How Can a Divorce Lawyer Help Me?
In a Florida divorce, litigation can occur over the distribution of property and assets. When this is the case, it is important to have an experienced divorce lawyer on your side throughout the process.
In order to facilitate an agreement, both parties may agree to work out an amicable resolution during a collaborative divorce. Your attorney will represent you throughout this process.
However, if a resolution is not reached, your attorney will represent you in court. It is important to know that once a court makes a final property division decision, it is difficult to change the order. That is why it is critical to have an experienced divorce attorney handling your case from the start.
Contact Our Divorce Lawyer in West Palm Beach
If divorce is in your future, it is important to understand how Florida divides your property and assets. Protecting your assets and your future is easier when you have legal representation.
Our experienced West Palm Beach divorce attorney can help you through this difficult time. Contact The Law Office of Eric C. Cheshire P.A. today to learn more about the divorce process and your options. You can call us at (561) 655-8844 or fill out our confidential contact form for more information. We can guide you every step of the way.