Let’s say you’ve acquired stocks, investment property, costly artwork, jewelry and other high-value property throughout the life of your marriage. You also have a vested pension plan and built up significant retirement funds. However, for whatever reason, your marriage has simply run its course and the time has come to separate from your spouse.
So, the big question remains: Who gets to keep what after the divorce?
Florida laws and equitable division of property
Contrary to popular belief, marital property and assets in a Florida divorce are not automatically split 50/50. Absent an agreement between the parties, a court will split property in an equitable and fair manner.
But what exactly does “equitable” or “fair” mean?
To determine what’s fair or equitably in any given circumstance, courts will look at various factors to come to a conclusion. Some include but are not limited to:
- How long your marriage lasted
- Whether you or your spouse were found to commit “intentional dissipation, waste, depletion or destruction of marital assets” within two years of the filing of the divorce petition
- Whether you or your spouse contributed to enhancing the career of the other during the life of the marriage
- Any interruption of you or your spouse’s personal career opportunities
Equitable division when significant assets are involved
As can be expected, equitable division of marital property becomes a big deal when significant monetary assets are involved. Dividing property with considerable worth is often legally complicated, particularly when real property appraisals and business valuations are needed.
The importance of seeking help from an experienced legal professional with knowledge handling complex marital estates cannot be stressed enough.
In these situations, third-party guidance and other outside resources are necessary to accurately ascertain the value of the marital assets subject to division in your divorce.