Common Myths About Property Division in Florida

If you are going through or contemplating getting a divorce in Florida, you should be prepared to deal with various complex topics. One of the most difficult topics you will most likely have to deal with in your Florida divorce is the topic of property division. Friends and family are probably willing to provide legal advice on property division, but it is vital that you avoid believing everything that your loved ones tell you. Your friends and family may share incorrect information with you because there are many myths about property division.

If you are going through or contemplating getting a divorce in Florida, your best option is to speak to a qualified divorce attorney. But, even before you talk to an attorney, it may help to learn the truth about some of Florida’s most common myths about property division. 

Myth #1: Marital Property is Divided Equally 

In Florida, marital property is divided in an “equitable” manner. But equitable distribution does not necessarily mean equal distribution. A Florida court can divide marital property equally between divorcing spouses or unequally if it finds that grounds for an unequal distribution exist. Florida courts are required to divide marital property between divorcing spouses fairly. And a fair distribution is not necessarily an equal one. 

In Florida, judges are required to distribute marital property equally unless there is enough justification for an unequal division based on the factors under Florida Statute 61.075

Myth #2: Cheaters Get Nothing

Florida is one of the no-fault divorce states, meaning that adultery generally does not impact how a court divides marital property between divorcing spouses in Florida. Cheating is not one of the factors that the courts can consider when making decisions on property division. 

However, if a spouse spends marital assets to carry on an affair, the court may award a smaller share of assets to the cheating spouse to compensate for the lost assets. 

Myth #3: The Spouse Who Made the Most Money, Keeps Everything

Unless it was explicitly stated in a prenuptial agreement that the spouse who makes the most money keeps everything, all the money acquired during a marriage is considered marital property, regardless of who earned it. All the money acquired during a marriage is subject to equitable distribution. 

Myth #4: Title Determines Whether an Asset is Considered Separate or Marital Property

When determining which property is separate and which is marital, the court does not look at titles. Property obtained during a marriage is considered marital property, regardless of what a title says. However, there are some exceptions. For example, assets given to one spouse through inheritance or as a gift are usually considered separate property unless commingling has occurred. 

Myth #5: A Business Cannot Be Considered Marital Property

If a business formed before a marriage increases in value during the marriage, a court may consider the appreciation as marital property. Also, a non-marital business could have a marital component if the owner commingles marital assets with the business. 

Contact Tampa Bay Legal Center for Legal Help

If you are going through or contemplating getting a divorce in Florida, contact Tampa Bay Legal Center for legal guidance. 

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At Tampa Bay Legal Center, P.A., we care about our clients and about helping them resolve the legal issues they face in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Our law firm is led by attorney Carl J. Ohall who, for more than 25 years, has helped people throughout the Tampa area overcome legal challenges that affect their families, finances & health.

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