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Property Division Attorney in Daytona Beach

Florida is not a community property state. Like most states in the U.S., it follows equitable distribution laws for property division in a divorce. Under these rules, marital property must be divided fairly, but not necessarily equally.

Who Decides How Property is Divided in a Daytona Beach Divorce?

Ideally, divorcing spouses will agree between themselves on how to divide marital property in a divorce. If they are unable to come to an agreement, the family law court will step in and make those decisions for them. State law requires the courts to distribute marital property equitably. In some cases, there may be valid reasons to award more property to one spouse than the other.

What Is the First Step in Dividing Marital Property?

In the equitable distribution process, the first step is to classify all assets and debts as either separate or marital property. Spouses take their own separate property away with them in a divorce.

What Is Marital Property?

Marital property is any asset acquired during the marriage with money earned during the marriage, regardless of whose name it is in. Spouses share marital assets and debts under Florida law. For example, if your spouse opens and uses a credit card during the marriage, you are responsible for that debt, even if your name is not on the account.

What Qualifies as Separate Property?

Non-marital (separate) assets and debts belong to one spouse alone and are not divided in a divorce. A spouse’s separate property may include:

  • Assets acquired before the marriage
  • Income derived from non-marital assets
  • Property acquired by gift or inheritance
  • Property excluded by a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

What Factors Do Courts Consider in Distributing Marital Property?

Judges tend to divide marital property equally between the spouses unless factors exist that would make equal division inequitable. Family law courts consider several factors in deciding property distribution, including:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s income
  • Each spouse’s earning potential
  • Assets and debts contributed to the marriage by each spouse
  • Overall health of each spouse
  • Number of minor children
  • Career sacrifices made by one spouse for the other
  • Childcare and homemaking contributions of each spouse during the marriage
  • Waste or destruction of marital assets by a spouse
  • Interest of either spouse in a particular asset

What if a Marital Asset Cannot be Easily Divided?

Some assets, such as a savings account, can be easily divided between divorcing spouses. Other assets, such as the family home or a business are more difficult to split. The judge may order the sale of the marital home and division of the proceeds. If there are minor children still living at home, the court may give one spouse the right to live in the home temporarily and order that the sale of the home and division of the proceeds be delayed until a later date. In the case of a business started by one spouse, the court will likely award the business to that spouse and award money or other property to the other spouse as an exchange.

Do You Need a Lawyer to Represent Your Interests?

When spouses cannot agree, property division can be one of the most contentious aspects of divorce. The court will award property to each of the spouses based on what it deems is equitable. Our experienced Daytona Beach divorce attorneys at Politis & Matovina can present your case to the court and ensure your rights are protected. We can use our knowledge, skills, and resources to help you obtain your fair share of the marital property.

We have a history of success for our clients. Call us at (386) 333-6613 if you are facing divorce in Daytona Beach.

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