Divorce Articles - Florida Law
Dividing Marital Assets and Debts in a Divorce: What Factors Matter the Most?
Posted on November 7, 2021
A divorce is not as simple as signing a piece of paper. It involves many legal processes, such as the division of assets and debts, among others. The laws in Florida are quite strict in this regard, which can make it even more complicated to understand the processes for a couple already going through a difficult marital situation. Therefore, even if a separation is on good terms, the division of assets can always be a challenge.
First of all, if there is no premarital agreement on the distribution of assets, a court will decide for the involved parties. And while judges are respectable and experienced professionals, the result may not seem fair or equitable to the couple. This is because in Florida judges look at a wide variety of factors to arrive at a division that they consider convenient for both parties.
According to Florida law, the judge “must begin with the premise that the distribution should be equal, unless there is a justification for an unequal distribution based on all relevant factors.”
Factors that may influence property division
- Contribution to the marriage and economic circumstances of both parties at the time of divorce. This includes any contribution to the other’s career or education.
- Particular desire or interest to retain a specific asset after the divorce.
- Accidental or intentional damages, destruction, or depletion of marital property.
- Contribution to the upbringing and care of children, including their education.
- Desirability of allowing either spouse to continue living in the marital home.
As you can see, it is not always easy to determine what belongs to whom. In some cases, when dealing with complex estates such as those involving corporations or LLC’s that were started during the marriage, specialists may have to be called in to value the assets before dividing them.
Remember: Assets are divided, but so are debts
Debts acquired during the marriage, such as those related to credit cards, student loans, mortgages, and others are divisible in the eyes of the law and are subject to the same criteria as other assets. Debt is one of the main reasons why you should consult with a family law attorney before deciding to divorce. In most cases, you will need to provide proof that the debts were incurred before the marriage and were not acquired in the names of both parties, to avoid bearing the responsibility for payment.
Each divorce is different. An experienced family lawyer can help you determine your unique situation and help you achieve a better settlement. At the Roberts Family Law Firm, we can guide you through this complicated process to ensure that you are entitled to a fair division and protect your interests.
At The Roberts Family Law Firm, we understand that a divorce can be a difficult time. Our knowledgeable and compassionate family law attorneys are here to help you as advocates for you and your children. Contact us today (407-426-6999) to speak with one of our experienced Orlando Divorce lawyers and learn more about our legal services in domestic law.
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