Marriage dissolution brings about significant change. Many residents find the emotional struggle associated with divorce challenging to overcome, but even those who are happy to be ending their marriage can become concerned about the property division process. This is for good reason, too. After all, the outcome of property division can set the stage for an individual’s post-divorce financial standing.
Poorly handled division can result in a decreased lifestyle and the loss of items of sentimental value, which is why we need to do everything they can to protect their interests when dividing marital property. State law recognizes equitable division of marital property.
“Equitable” means that the division must be fair given the circumstances at hand, but this does not mean that the property has to be divided equally. Instead, the court will consider a number of factors when determining how to divide marital assets. While the court starts from the position that the division of property should be equal, it may stray from that starting position based on the contributions each party made to the marriage as well as the financial health of each party.
But, those are not the only factors to be considered. A court may also look at the length of the marriage, how the marriage effected the parties’ education and career prospects and the contributions each spouse made to the other’s education and career. These are just a few of the many factors to be taken into consideration, which, as one can see, can quickly sway a court to award more property to one spouse than the other.
Of course, many property division issues can be negotiated amongst the parties, thereby removing the matter from the hands of a judge who does not know the couple. Even here, though, Floridians need to make sure that they are prepared to present strong legal arguments as to why they are entitled to certain property. This is where the assistance of a skilled divorce attorney may prove beneficial.