The most litigated part of divorce proceedings is property division. If you are thinking about or in the midst of divorcing your spouse, you likely worry about what property will remain exclusively yours and what is part of the marital assets.
As an “equitable distribution” state, Florida courts will attempt to divide the marital assets in your divorce as fairly as possible.
What is separate property?
“Separate” or non-marital property includes assets and liabilities you acquired before the date of your marriage and any property you obtained after your legal separation decree. In your divorce proceedings, your separate property will remain with you as the sole owner.
With the appropriate clear and convincing evidence that it only belongs to you, anything gifted or bequeathed to you after the date of the marriage by someone other than your spouse, is also separate property. Separate property is also excluded by valid written contracts such as premarital or postnuptial agreements. All income earned during the marriage is separate property unless treated as a marital asset by you and your spouse through commingling the funds, paying for a mortgage together and funding family vacations with your income.
When is it not equitable to return everything?
A judge may determine that it is not equitable to return everything that belongs to you, even if it is separate property. For example, if you own two vehicles and your former spouse has custody of the children, the court may grant your ex one of the vehicles so he or she can care for your family. When assessing property distribution in your divorce, courts consider factors such as the duration of your marriage, tax consequences of the property division, custodial provisions for minor children and sources of income.