If you are getting divorced in Florida, one of the most important things to consider is how to divide your income-producing assets. These include anything from your home and businesses to your retirement accounts. Here’s a look at how the law would apply to you, depending on your unique situation.
Dividing income-producing assets in Florida: Overview
In Florida, any income brought in by either of you while married is considered communal property subject to equitable distribution upon divorce (Florida Statutes § 61.075). Typically, the court will divide your asset in half unless there’s a reason not to. Here are some factors that the judge might look at:
- The length of your marriage – If you have been married for a long time, chances are, you’ve commingled your marital and nonmarital assets. For example, your spouse might have used their inheritance to help boost your business or provided for your family while you were investing in other things. In such a case, they would have the right to claim up to half of your income-producing assets.
- The age and health of each spouse – If your spouse has a condition that requires substantial financial support, the court will divide your assets in a way that can help them deal with it. And if your partner is young and healthy, the judge might see that they are in a position to earn an income and support themselves after the divorce.
- The standard of living during the marriage – If you had a higher standard of living while you were married, the court will likely divide your assets in a way that would help you maintain that lifestyle. This is true even if you were the stay-at-home spouse.
- Spouses’ contribution to the marriage – There are two parts to this: the financial contribution and the contribution as the homemaker. If your spouse was taking care of the kids and home affairs while you worked, they’d have a claim to any income you brought in.
While dividing your income-producing assets, the court must find their accurate valuation. You can also do your own appraisal to determine your marital property’s current and potential future worthiness, just to ensure you get what you rightfully deserve. Also, remember that your circumstances would be a little different if you signed a marital agreement.