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What is property division?

Although property can be legally divided at various times in life, including during estate administration, the definition of property division we will cover here is related to divorce. When Florida couples divorce, there are likely both individual and marital assets to be considered, and dividing that property in the most equitable way can be difficult.

According to Cornell University's Law Library, property division was not always governed under legal statutes, and in the past, division most often favored the spouse who earned all or most of the wages for the couple. Today, couples live very different lives, and there are many types of family structures. While disparate structures make property division more complex, legal rules can provide some direction.

Property division takes into account all assets owned by a couple, including real estate and homes, home goods, personal valuables, checking and savings accounts, investment accounts and retirement accounts. Couples can choose to divide property themselves with our without professional assistance, can use professional representation or mediators during the process or can go through the court for division.

The division of marital property does not always come down to a 50/50 split of assets. Courts and others may take details into consideration when splitting assets, such as who earned what, who brought what to the marriage and how the assets may be divided to best provide care for any dependents.

However a couple or individual decides to proceed with divorce and property division, strong investigation can be a valuable component of the case. Over years, may assets can be forgotten, so working with someone to seek out all accounts, funds and properties before moving forward to divide assets is important.

Source: Cornell University Law School, "Divorce and Seperation: An Overview" Dec. 23, 2014

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