Divorce is rarely an easy process. In many instances, there is just too much at stake for the parties to amicably resolve all legal issues related to the marriage dissolution process.
One of the major sticking points of divorce is property division. After all, the outcome of this issue can completely define one’s post-divorce financial position for years, perhaps even decades, to come. A lot of times there are also a lot of emotions tied up in personal property, so trying to figure out how to divide those assets can lead to significant conflict.
Under Florida law, assets are to be divided equitably upon divorce. This essentially means that, given the facts at hand, property must be divided fairly. This does not mean that property is divided evenly. Although the court starts its analysis with the assumption that marital property should be evenly divided, it in fact considers a number of factors that could cause it to stray from that starting point.
So what factors will a judge consider when looking at equitable division? He or she may look at the length of a marriage, the financial position of each party, whether one party made contributions to the education or career of the other during the course of marriage, and whether one of the parties intentionally depleted marital assets prior to divorce.
But the analysis doesn’t stop there. Instead, a judge will also consider any contributions made by the parties to the raising of children and any other factors the court may deem relevant to reaching a fair resolution.
While some of these factors are concrete and easy to assess, such as the length of a marriage, others are more subjective, such as contributions made to a spouse’s education or career. This means that there is a lot of room for legal arguments when it comes to property division. Therefore, in order to best protect one’s legal rights and to better secure his or her post-divorce financial future, Floridians going through divorce may want to think about acquiring the assistance of a family law attorney.