Understanding the Property Division Process in Florida

On behalf of The Law Offices of Cindy D. Sackrin posted in Divorce on Friday, July 15, 2016.

Property division can be a challenging aspect of any divorce. Property must be categorized as marital property or non-marital property and marital assets must be divided. The first step in the property division process in Florida as in across the country is to identify all marital assets the couple has acquired during the marriage from the time the couple was married until they separated.

The second step, after identifying all the couple's marital assets, is to value those assets. Marital assets can include real estate, such as a family home; cars; jewelry; artwork; home furnishings; and other types of personal property. Asset valuation can be a complex process and may require a variety of experts. The services of forensic accountants, actuaries and appraisers may all be needed to properly value an asset subject to property division. Additional types of property and assets may also be considered martial assets including pensions and retirement accounts which can be complicated to divide.

After marital property is identified and divided, the court will decide on the distribution of the couple's assets. In certain circumstances, couples may be able to agree on property division or certain aspects of property division. In other circumstances, the property division process may lead to disputes. When the couple is unable to agree, the court proceeds with the property division process according to equitable distribution principles used in Florida. According to equitable distribution, the court will divide property as fairly as possible between the couple, however, equitable distribution does not necessarily mean equal distribution and some circumstances may call for unequal distribution.

Dividing property cab be an understandably unnerving aspect of any couple's divorce. By understanding how property division is reached, couples may be able to better direct the process and arrive at a property division settlement that both parties can reasonably live with.

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