Does the “what’s mine is yours” mindset mean marital property is divided equally among spouses during divorce? Outside of courts, individuals can make agreements to divide property mostly as they see fit as long as they can come to a legally binding agreement. If the couple cannot agree and the property division issue goes before a Florida court, the court attempts to ensure that the division is “equitable.”
There are considerations written into Florida law that allow courts to make a decision for equitable but not necessarily equal distribution of marital assets. Courts will consider the financial circumstances of the marriage and both parties, including whether either individual gave up career or education opportunities in support of the marriage or whether one individual contributed to the advancement of the others education or career.
Courts may also consider how long the marriage lasted and what each part contributed to the relationship. Contributions considered are not always monetary — the courts may look at the effort spent homemaking or caring for children. When children are involved, courts might consider the importance of maintaining a family home for those children or keeping custodial parents in a certain area or school district to avoid disruption to children.
Courts also consider the actions of each spouse during the years just before and any time following the filing of divorce petitions. If either individual willfully destroyed property or wasted or depleted resources, those actions may factor into a property division decision. Overall, the court attempts to review all facts in a case and make a decision that considers the best interest of any minor children as well as fairness to each spouse.
For more information about the complexities of property division in Florida and how you can seek assistance, check out our marital property division page.