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How assets are divided equitably in divorce

Couples in Florida go through a lot together when they are married. They build a life together and especially if they are married for a long period of time, they probably acquired a large number of assets as well. These assets come in many forms such as checking and savings accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, homes, collectables and other types of assets. Some of these accounts may be in one spouse’s name or they could be held jointly, but if they were obtained during the marriage, the assets are generally deemed marital.

If the couple divorces all the marital assets must be divided between the two spouses. In Florida that division is done equitably, which does not necessarily mean equally. To determine which spouse will receive which assets there are a number of factors that are analyzed, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Each spouse’s contribution towards obtaining the assets, which includes work taking care of the home and children, not just the actual contributions to earn the money;
  • How long the marriage lasted;
  • Each spouse’s current economic situation and how long it has been since each spouse had meaningful employment. Also, if one spouse gave up opportunities to allow the other spouse to go to school or focus on their career;
  • Whether it is desired for the custodial parent to stay in the marital home and the economic needs of the parent to keep the house;
  • The importance of keeping a business in the name of the owner alone;
  • Whether either spouse purposely depleted or destroyed marital assets in the two-year period prior to filing for divorce;
  • Other factors to ensure there is an equitable division of the spouses’ marital assets.

There are marriages where one spouse may have a greater need than the other spouse and in those situations that spouse may be awarded to the spouse in need.

Overall though the division of assets can be a very complicated process though. Many of the assets will need appraisals and the various financial accounts of the spouses may have both marital and non-marital funds in them. The couple may need to trace the non-marital portions in those accounts. This can be a complicated process involving accountants and appraisers. Only after this process is done can the spouses actually start dividing them, which can lead to further complications.

In any divorce in Florida, the parties will have to divide their assets. However, this can be a much more complicated process in divorces with large numbers of assets. Consulting with experienced attorneys can be beneficial.

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