Some people who are seeking a divorce go into the process under the impression that divorcing spouses always split their property right down the middle. In reality, this is not always the case.
Courts in Florida apply the doctrine of equitable distribution when they divide marital property. Dividing assets equitably does not necessarily signify that both spouses are going to receive equal shares. A court must start its analysis with the presumption that there will be an even split, but several key factors could affect a ruling about property division.
When a marriage has been fairly short in duration, spouses may not have to forfeit half of the value of assets that they acquired over the course of the marriage. For example, a court could determine that it would be unfair for people to give up half of their investment earnings or their contributions to a retirement account after a brief marriage.
Under Florida’s statutory law about property division, courts may consider the value of each party’s contribution to a marital estate. A spouse who did not make substantive contributions or squandered assets may receive less than fifty percent of marital property.
During a divorce proceeding, courts can examine each party’s respective financial position. Relevant considerations include their current income, earning capacity, and outstanding financial obligations.
Ultimately, judges try to divide property in a manner that is fair to both parties. Nevertheless, it is usually advisable for divorcing couples to try to work out property division independently rather than leaving it up to a third party.