Preparing for a divorce can be difficult for everyone involved, and when it comes down to splitting assets, things can get downright tense. Remember, Florida is an equitable distribution state. You don't have to split your assets 50/50, but the split should be fair.
How do assets get divided in divorce?
It can be hard to say for certain, because there are a few ways to divide your assets. If you can negotiate a settlement ahead of trial, then you may be able to get what you want out of your marriage without having to have a judge determine the division of your assets. If you can't come to an agreement, the judge is able to determine the split, and you'll have to live with what he or she decides.
Should assets be divided based on value?
Not really, because some assets have a value now that will change in the future. For instance, a retirement account will accrue interest and grow over time. That means you need to account for that growth and how much that asset is really worth before you decide on a settlement. Other things to consider include tax implications associated with the sale of an asset or what it would cost to own that asset.
Will I lose my separate property?
You shouldn't, but there are cases where separate property will become marital property and be divided. For example, if you received an inheritance, that's normally separate property. However, if you decided to put that into a joint banking account, the court could determine that it's now shared. Our website has more information on this process, so you can see what kinds of assets you can protect as your own.