Get Your Fair Share in a Divorce Settlement
Sometimes, when a marriage begins to crumble, partners who are invested in that joint union focus their time and energy on taking steps to save the marriage from divorce. Other times, when it appears that a marriage is deteriorating, one partner immediately takes steps to protect their assets. Or, in some instances, hiding them all together. If you are facing divorce, you may be wondering what your spouse has hidden from you. Or you may be wondering how much of your assets you have to give up as part of your divorce settlement. Either way, it is best to understand how divorce law works and what protections you have under the law in your state.
How is marital property divided under Florida divorce laws?
Each state has different rules regarding the division of property in a divorce. Florida law requires that property be divided equitably between the spouses. The law states that “equitable” usually means equal. However, if a judge believes that an equal division of property would be unfair to either party, then the property may be divided differently. In making this determination, several factors may be considered, including:
- Length of the marriage
- Individual economic circumstances of each spouse
- Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, including as a parent or primary caregiver
- Interruption in the career or educational opportunities of either spouse
- Contributions made to the educational opportunities or career of the other spouse
- Contributions to improving marital or nonmarital assets
- Each spouse’s contribution to earnings or increasing income
- Any liabilities incurred that affect marital or nonmarital assets
- Any intentional depletion, destruction, or waste of marital assets after filing for divorce or within the two-year period prior to filing
Mine vs. Yours
Under Florida law, marital assets are considered everything the spouses acquired during the marriage, both individually and together. In addition, all vested or non-vested benefits, such as retirement funds, pensions, annuities, deferred compensation, and insurance plans are also considered marital assets. Property is considered nonmarital, or separate, if it was owned prior to the marriage or if it was acquired during the marriage as a gift from someone other than the spouse or by inheritance. After determining which property is marital property, a monetary value is assigned to each item.
Protect your assets and obtain what is rightfully yours
Divorce is an emotional process for all involved and it is often difficult to set aside those emotions when discussing the division of marital property. In times like this, it is best to have a knowledgeable legal professional by your side to look out for your best interests and act on your behalf. At The Law Offices of Mark G. Rodriguez, our Tampa divorce attorney has more than 20 years experience, bringing detailed knowledge of the Florida court system to your case, as well as dedication to protecting your best interests. At our firm, each case is handled personally every step of the way. Contact us today for a free consultation at (813) 227-9642 or online; appointments available outside of normal business hours when necessary.