Dissolving a marriage? Splitting property is a big part of it

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The divorce process is never truly easy even in the most amicable of situations. After all, you and your spouse's lives are intertwined both financially and emotionally, and unwinding them can be a complicated and emotionally painful process.

One of the most challenging aspects of dissolving a marriage in Florida is addressing the division of property. The most ideal way to handle property division is for you and your spouse to decide for yourselves how you want your assets divided. If you cannot come to an agreement on this matter, the court will end up deciding it for you.

Equitable distribution

Florida is an equitable distribution state. This means a judge will decide for you and your future ex what is fair, or equitable, when it comes to splitting your assets. As a result, the judge will not necessarily split your assets down the middle. Rather, the higher-earning party may end up with 66 percent of the assets, whereas the other party receives the rest.

Equitable distribution states are different from community property states, where marital property is usually called community property. Unlike in equitable distribution states, in community property states, the property that a couple has accumulated together over the course of their marriage is usually divided evenly.

What about separate property?

If you have separate property, it does not have to undergo property division. Separate property can include any property that you acquired before getting married, such as the proceeds of a pension or an inheritance. Other types of separate property are court awards and gifts. However, some separate property might become community property and thus subject to property division, such as a business that you started prior to getting married but that the marriage has sustained. In this case, you have comingled property.

Divorce process

If you and your spouse can find common ground, then going through an alternative process to divorce in Florida, such as mediation, may be possible. Mediation allows you to work together to achieve a property division settlement that works for both of you when dissolving a marriage. This type of process is generally much quicker, and thus less expensive, than going to trial, and it also offers the benefit of being much less stressful for both parties.

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