What is Divisible Property?

Divorce law is tricky. There are a lot of terms whose meanings may not be obvious right away. One such term that worries many people is “divisible property,” or wondering which properties are divisible. “divisible” is a descriptive or qualifying word in the broadest sense. The term you should be zeroing in on is marital property. In a divorce, Florida courts divide and distribute marital property equitably. Therefore, the State of Florida considers marital property divisible. Of course, not every divorce is the same, but equity can mean different things in different cases. This article will detail marital property and how courts divide it in a divorce.

What is Marital Property?

In Florida, marital property is any property purchased with money earned during the marriage. While many people believe that the purchasing party matters, it does not. It doesn’t even matter whose name has a title to the property. Gifts, inheritances, and businesses all have unique rules that apply to them. Beyond simple material goods, debts are also counted as “divisible” assets of the marriage. Assets that aren’t marital are separate properties. This separate property is not part of the distribution process.

What is Equitable Distribution?

Sometimes when people hear “equitable,” they expect it to mean “equal.” Thus, they expect to get the same numeric or monetary amount of assets. In Florida, courts decide how to divide assets based on several factors. Because every divorce is unique, some couples may have an uneven division. The courts will consider the financial situation of each party, how long the marriage lasted, how much each party contributed to the marriage, and things such as relocation or career changes or interruptions. There are more things courts consider. Let’s take a closer look at why an uneven division could occur:
•Intentional spoilage, dissipation, or destruction of marital assets can lead to an uneven division. When one person intentionally harms marital assets for their benefits, the State of Florida may favor one party over the other.
•A spouse’s economic status comes into play, too. For example, if one spouse is significantly wealthier than the other, the lower-earning spouse or the spouse with fewer resources may receive more.
•Misconduct by one of the parties factors heavily in uneven divisions. For example, misconduct that reduces total marital assets may result in an uneven division as a form of compensation.
•The proportion of contributions to the total marital assets can also contribute. Shorter marriages may see one party getting significantly more marital property than the other. The cases in which this is likely are those where one party paid significantly more for the marital property than the other. In these situations, the State of Florida will often favor the party that contributed the most.

Other Marital Asset Considerations

Along with purchases made during the marriage, improvements made during the marriage to existing assets are counted. For example, increasing the property value of a home. There are different rules for different kinds of value increase, though. Gifts can also be considered marital property. This is true regardless of who purchased or received the gift. This can be good for the party who made the purchase and gave the gift. Some retirement benefits can also be included.

Contact the family law specialists at Thompson Law today to learn more about marital property and what property division in your divorce may look like.