Going through a divorce or legal separation is no easy feat. There are a host of difficult topics to negotiate, and property division may be one of the most complicated.
Since you may have become attached to property you accumulated during the relationship, it is often emotional to decide who gets that property once you separate. When you understand how property division works, you can better prepare for the process and ensure you receive everything you deserve in the divorce settlement.
Community property state
Florida is one of the few states in the nation that divides marital assets according to the community property model, according to Florida statutes. This means that all community or marital property is separated equally between spouses. In some cases, the court may look at certain factors regarding the property before determining final property division in the divorce settlement. However, most items, assets and debt are split equally in half.
Marital vs. separate property
While community property is divided, separate property may stay with the original owner. Marital property involves all items amassed during the marriage, including the following:
- Intellectual property, such as copyrights, trademarks and patents
- Term life insurance policies
- 401k plans, stocks and money market accounts
- Lottery ticket winnings and income tax returns
- Expensive collections, such as art, antiques and classic cars
Separate property, on the other hand, involves items such as inheritance money, gifts given to you by a third-party or personal injury compensation you won from a case. In order to keep its separate status, however, this property must remain in your name. Once it becomes combined with your spouse’s property, it may become marital and then eligible for division in the divorce settlement.