Divorces are never easy, but when property and assets are involved, things can get very confusing. One of the most common questions we get asked by our divorce clients is about how their assets will be divided.
The idea that all money, accounts, property, and other assets acquired during the marriage will be split 50/50 is outdated. While the 50/50 split may be where judges begin when deciding how to divide assets, splitting right down the middle isn’t always the most equitable distribution plan.
Marital vs. Nonmarital Property
Only assets that are deemed marital may be divided in a divorce here in Florida. The first thing that must be decided is which properties and assets are considered marital, and which are not. Any property or assets gained before the marriage are usually considered nonmarital unless both spouses contributed to an increase in value of the asset during the marriage. For example, if a man owned a bank account from before he was married and throughout the entire marriage, he was the only one who made deposits to the account, then that asset is considered nonmarital. However, if his new wife makes deposits to the account during the marriage, the account then becomes a marital asset.
However, some assets aren’t so cut and dry. For example, if a woman owned her own business valued at $50,000 before getting married, and that same business is valued at $90,000 during the divorce, then the husband may be entitled to part of the $40,000 increase in the business’ valuation. (more…)