Couples who seek a divorce in Florida might wonder what will happen to everything they once shared with their spouse. You may question who will end up with large investments like the family home or smaller ones like the furniture inside your home.
Knowing the difference between which of your assets are marital ones and which are separate ones can help you understand the property division process in Florida. This is because under equitable distribution laws, all marital assets are subject to division, while separate ones aren’t.
What’s the difference?
Marital assets, like their name, include what you’ve acquired with your ex through the duration of your marriage. Both assets you collect as a pair and as individuals. Most marital property can fall under three different categories:
- Real estate: This can include your marital home, vacation homes, business properties or land you’ve accumulated through the course of your marriage.
- Personal property: Personal property is essentially the physical items that may fill your home. Typical examples are furniture pieces, artwork, electronics and vehicles.
- Financial and business assets: Assets that don’t take up physical space are also a large part of a couple’s marital estate. This may involve cash, checking and savings accounts, retirement accounts, pensions, IRAs, stocks, bonds and trusts. It may also involve business assets like partnerships or sole proprietorships.
On the other hand, there is separate property that you might not be forced to divvy up. There are nonmarital assets that you can keep after marriage if:
- You acquired the asset before your marriage date
- The asset was a gift given to you by someone other than your spouse
- The property in question is something you’ve inherited
What about mixed property?
However, when you mix separate property or funds with marital assets, they can become marital property. Commingled funds are something to keep in mind before forming expectations of what you will be able to walk away with after your divorce. For example, if you had a boat that you entered your marriage with, but your spouse helped you pay off a loan you took out to pay for it, then it might classify as marital property in a court of law.
A legal professional can help you understand the property division process and achieve a fair settlement.