How property is divided in a divorce varies from state to state. Florida law mandates an equitable division of property between spouses. While equitable division generally means “equal,” a judge who thinks a 50/50 split is unfair can divide the property in a different way after accounting for all relevant factors. When dividing property, a Florida judge will also account for how difficult or easy it is to divide an asset. For instance, a business started by one spouse during the marriage is typically considered a marital asset, but splitting a business is difficult. A judge in this situation may give the entire business to the operating spouse, while awarding the other spouse an equivalent amount of money or property. Read on to learn more about the division of property in Florida during divorce.
Who Gets The House
A couple won’t be court-ordered to split a marital home, but a judge may give one spouse the home if they buy the other spouse’s share out. In certain situations, a judge may ask the couple to sell the home and split the proceeds. If it seems to be the most equitable resolution, they also may award one spouse the right to temporarily live in a marital home.
The court gives special consideration regarding how this option may benefit any school-aged children. The custodial parent (parent who primarily resides with their children) is more likely to be awarded a house during a divorce since it gives the children a more stable living environment. While some couples can privately agree on how to divide assets, others need the assistance of a mediator or attorney to negotiate a settlement. Couples who are unable to resolve property issues outside of court will have to go to court and ask for a decision from a judge or arbitrator.
If you don’t want to go through a divorce trial, you can take charge of your case through reaching a settlement agreement with the other spouse, which resolves all issues in your divorce. Spouses split assets through relegating certain items to each spouse, potentially with an equalizing payment if one spouse receives substantially more than the other, or by selling property and splitting the money. Couples who are fairly amicable may agree to continue jointly owning property together. For instance, they may agree to keep the family home as is until their children are out of school, or retain an investment property to wait for the value to increase.
In a settlement agreement, the couple also must assign all debt accrued throughout the marriage, including car loans, mortgages, and credit card debts, between the spouses. Certain couples are on decent talking terms and are able to reach satisfactory settlements without third-party help. In other cases, a couple may hire a mediator to assist them in negotiating a fair settlement. A judge needs to approve any settlement, and will not approve an agreement that is considered “patently unfair” to one party.
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If you are going through a divorce and require legal counsel, call Swickle & Associates to speak with an expert divorce and family law attorney today.