State of florida divorce laws

Practically speaking, if one spouse owned twenty acres of Florida beachfront property prior to the marriage, then titled those twenty acres jointly following the marriage, the property is no longer considered a non-marital asset. Many spouses have been shocked to realize this fact during a divorce, assuming because they brought something into the marriage it will remain theirs, regardless of how it is titled.

How to File for Divorce in Florida - 6 Step Guide - A Step-By-Step Guide to the Divorce Process

The house will now be considered a marital asset to be divided fairly equally. No matter how passionately the spouse who brought the assets into the marriage feels the asset in question should be returned to him or her in its entirety, the courts may feel otherwise. In general, the courts consider the following when determining which assets are marital and which are non-marital.


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Therefore, absent a legal agreement which states otherwise, marital property in the state of Florida will include all debts and assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage, regardless of how the debt or asset is titled. Even if a spouse—unbeknownst to the other—opens a charge card and goes crazy racking up debt on the card, that debt will be considered a marital liability. The exception to this might be if the court found the spouse wasted marital assets through reckless spending.

This fact also comes as a shock to many divorcing spouses who are suddenly presented with the fact they are now responsible for half of the debts accumulated by their husband or wife, even when they had no knowledge of those debts. After it has been determined which assets are marital and which are non-marital, a monetary value will be assigned to each item.

In some cases, a professional appraiser may need to be hired in order to put a fair value on the asset. Retirement accounts and some other financial assets can be extremely difficult to accurately evaluate and may require a CPA or an actuary in order to reach a fair assessment. Both spouses are advised to consider the tax implications of acquiring a particular asset in a divorce settlement. In some cases, after a cost-benefit analysis is performed, it may be determined a specific asset is not worth fighting for. There are a number of factors the court will consider when dividing assets and liabilities during a divorce, such as:.

If a marriage lasted only a short time, the judge in the case may be reluctant to award one spouse money which was primarily earned by the other.

The judge may consider awarded alimony, child support, age, general health, training and employment when dividing assets. Depending on the circumstances, a judge may order the marital home to be sold, and the proceeds divided. When minor children remain at home, this can be a fairly common determination. If one spouse feels strongly about remaining in the marital home, whether there are children or not , then the judge may award the other spouse additional money or assets, or fewer debts in order to make the split at least somewhat equitable.

If the house is to be sold, but the real estate market is particularly bad at the time of the divorce, the judge may allow the couple to keep the home and sell it when the market increases. Get to know us: Robert Napper, Journalist.


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  • If one spouse feels he or she is not going to be treated fairly by the judge during the division of assets and liabilities, it might be worthwhile to try once more to negotiate a settlement prior to handing the decisions over to a Florida judge. Couples who can create a marital settlement agreement can divide their assets in a way that best fits their particular situation without worrying about being bound by court orders. Having an experienced Ayo and Iken divorce attorney by your side to help negotiate an equitable settlement on your part can make all the difference in the end result.

    Consumer Pamphlet: Divorce In Florida

    Jeana handled my case with priority, enthusiasm, and professionalism. I had no doubt that she was out for my best interest at all times. A person with extensive staff and luxuries may be awarded enough to reasonably maintain a similar lifestyle after the divorce. It is possible for a party to modify permanent alimony in the future if there is a significant change in circumstances or if the spouse receiving the alimony enters into a relationship where he or she is receiving support from someone living with them who is not related to him or her by blood or affinity.

    Bridge-the-gap, durational, and permanent alimony will end upon the death of either the paying or the receiving spouse.

    Divorce in Florida: How Much Does It Cost and How Long Does It Take?

    If the person receiving the alimony remarries, the alimony also will cease. This does not apply to rehabilitative alimony. If one of the parties to the marriage committed adultery, the court may take this into account and consider the circumstances surrounding the adultery. The court will consider financial matters when setting alimony, including:. Get to know us: Sierra Johnson, Intake Team. Alimony provides the means for one party to get back up on his or her feet.

    It is not meant to punish one party, although the ability of Florida judge to consider adultery when determining whether or not to award alimony and how much to order does permit an element of judgment for bad behavior.

    Consumer Pamphlet: Divorce In Florida – The Florida Bar

    However, the main purpose is to assist one party in maintaining the standard of living established during the marriage. Approaching the issue of alimony in this manner will enable the party seeking this monetary support to present a clear case about why the award of alimony is justified. If you are filing for divorce in Florida or have been served with a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, the skilled and compassionate attorneys at Ayo and Iken are ready to aggressively protect your rights and ensure that you receive everything that you deserve.

    Zealously representing the interests of our clients in Orlando, Miami, Tampa, Clearwater, Lakeland, Wesley, Chapel, and New Port Richey, Florida, we are committed to obtaining a fair and just resolution of the divorce proceedings. We understand how difficult this process is for you and invite you to meet with us for a free consultation, where we will listen to you and present your legal options. To schedule an appointment, please call us at So pleased I found the right attorney.

    Can You Save Your Marriage?

    Howard Iken was trustworthy as well as knowledgeable in every aspect of family law and believe me I had a tricky case.. He took care of my me in record time. Made me feel like family. Words cannot express my gratitude.

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    Jorge Serrano — Google Reviews. Need assistance with this form? Free Consultation is limited to individuals considering hiring an attorney. Not all situations qualify. Fee charged for appellate case evaluations.