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We're getting divorced: How do we split our things?

The easiest way of dealing with the division of property during the divorce process in Florida is for you and your soon-to-be ex to determine on your own how to divide your property. Unfortunately, the majority of couples getting divorced cannot deal with asset division in an amicable way. In these situations, the matter usually ends up in court.

Equitable distribution

You can expect a judge in Florida to follow equitable distribution law if you and your spouse have to go to court. In an equitable distribution state, a judge will decide what is equitable - or, what is fair - instead of simply dividing assets equally. This might mean that 66 percent of the marital property will go to the spouse with the higher earnings, whereas the remainder goes to the lower-earning spouse.

The equitable distribution law is opposite that followed in community property states, where all community property - essentially, marital property - is split evenly, while both parties keep their own separate property after the divorce.

And the house goes to...

Who will end up with the family home depends on your particular circumstances. For example, if you end up keeping the children, then you generally get to keep the family home. Meanwhile, if your spouse bought the house with his or her own money before you got married and there are no children in the picture, then your spouse can keep the residence and require you to vacate it.

If you do not have children, neither you nor your spouse usually has the right to make the other party leave, but either you or your spouse may certainly request this.

How does a judge decide who gets our other assets in a divorce?

It you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on how to divide the rest of your assets, such as pensions and investments, and even your debts, the court will consider different factors, including how long the marriage lasted and both you and the other party's economic circumstances.

The court will also look at how you and your spouse individually contributed to the marriage, your individually accrued liabilities and debts and whether either party intentionally wasted or hid assets before or during the proceeding. A knowledgeable divorce attorney in Florida can provide you with a realistic assessment of what you will likely receive following asset division and then pursue strategies that are tailored to your objectives.

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Busciglio & Sheridan Law Group
3302 N. Tampa Street
Tampa, FL 33603

Phone: 813-302-1265
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