Determining “Who Gets What” in a Florida Divorce
The first thing people should understand about divorce is that the court is going be the ultimate decision-maker when it comes to almost all issues involving assets, liabilities, custody of minor children and more. When you get married that is a legal event, and when you get divorced it is also a legal matter.
Divorce – the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body.
Once the paperwork is filed with the Circuit Court in your area, a judge will be assigned to your case. According to Florida law, the judge “must begin with the premise that the distribution should be equal, unless there is a justification for an unequal distribution based on all relevant factors.”
Therefore, if one spouse contributed more money to the purchase of a home, the court may see that property as an equally owned asset.
Factors that may influence property division include:
- Contribution to the marriage and economic circumstances of both parties at the time of divorce. This includes any contribution to the other’s career or education.
- Particular desire or interest to retain a specific asset after the divorce.
- Accidental or intentional damages, destruction, or depletion of marital property.
- Contribution to the upbringing and care of children, including their education.
Debts are also equally divisible and they may include credit cards, mortgages, car loans, and more. Things can get complex when dealing with retirement plans, pensions, and insurance policies. Certain assets such as corporations are not easy to put an exact value on so business experts may have to be called upon to help.
The section of the Florida Statutes 61.079 Premarital Agreements includes this: “Premarital agreement” means an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective upon marriage. People usually sign these in order to protect certain assets from the other spouse and they affect the way the court will divide assets and liabilities.
Every divorce is truly unique so they can be simple or extremely complicated. Either way, having an attorney on your side can give you confidence that you’re having your rights protected. Moving forward you want to make sure you get the settlement that is best for you and your family, and an experienced family law attorney will accomplish that.
Since 1992 the Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been helping people all over Florida receive the best outcome from their legal issues. We would be happy to sit down with you and discuss your situation. Call us 7 days a week at 954-356-0006.
Florida Family Law Attorneys • Weston, Florida • Fort Lauderdale, Florida