The more property you share with your spouse and the higher your overall standard of living, the more you have to fight over when you divorce. Property division proceedings in Florida can often become heated, especially when people disagree about how to split their belongings or even which assets are subject to division.
Like a majority of other states in the country, Florida state law imposes an equitable distribution standard when couples litigate divorces. A judge splitting your property would need to seek a just or equitable resolution to the division of your property and your debts.
Some people strategize for property division proceedings by trying to paint a specific picture about the circumstances of their marriage. Others will try to protect certain property, possibly by claiming the property is not subject to division. Can you protect certain property from division in Florida divorces?
The law recognizes several kinds of separate property
You don’t need to divide your separate property in a Florida divorce. Only marital assets are at risk in divorce litigation. Usually, it is the date of acquisition that determines if certain property is marital or separate. Items that you buy during your marriage and the paychecks you earn after your wedding are typically all marital property.
However, there are some assets that will be your separate property. Items that you owned before you got married and that you maintain separately can still be your sole property. Assets that you inherited or received as gifts from someone other than your spouse can also be separate property. Finally, property that you specifically protected as separate in a marital agreement will also have protection from division in divorce proceedings.
Financial records play a major role in property division
If you intend to demonstrate that the majority of the balance in your retirement account or your cottage across state lines in Georgia is your separate property, you will need to perform a careful review of your financial records to ensure you can justify making such claims. The more thorough you are when reviewing your property and placing a value on it, the easier it will be for you to secure an appropriate outcome in your divorce proceeding.
Learning more about how Florida divides your property can help you estimate what to expect in your divorce.