People seriously considering divorce in Florida often have a long list of questions that they want to answer before making a decision. One of the most pressing concerns for someone thinking about the end of their marriage is what happens to their property when they divorce.
People generally understand that there is an asset division process that occurs, but they often don’t understand the standard that decides how couples divide their property or who determines the outcome of the property division process.
Who gets to make property division decisions?
In many divorces, it will be the divorcing couple that ultimately decides how to divide their property. Maybe they have a prenuptial agreement that already has clear rules. Maybe they negotiate with one another through their lawyers to settle their property division disagreements.
They might even try mediation as a way to reach a settlement that they can both agree is appropriate. When couples can agree on the terms of property division in their divorce, they can file for uncontested proceedings that are typically faster and cheaper than a litigated divorce. However, when couples can’t reach a settlement on their own, then a Florida family law judge decides how to divide their property.
How does a judge make property division decisions?
When a judge has to divide your property, their first step will likely be to thoroughly review the inventory of resources and debts the two of you provided. They may then make inquiries about certain details about the marriage that are not already clear. Factors ranging from how long the two of you remained married and your health to how you intend to share custody can play a role in what the judge decides would be fair.
Fairness is the goal, as Florida has an equitable distribution law. Rather than trying to split your property equally, the judge seeks to find a just solution based on the circumstances of your marriage and your individual situations. Couples that understand what happens during a divorce are in a better position both to negotiate with one another and to prepare for the possibility of litigation.
Talking about Florida property division rules and your marital estate can help you set goals for your upcoming divorce.