When you file for divorce, one of the first concerns you may have is what will happen to the assets you and your spouse brought to the marriage or accumulated during the course of the marriage. If you lived in one of the community states, such as Wisconsin, Arizona, Washington, California, Texas, Idaho, New Mexico, Louisiana, or Nevada, the assets would be considered community property. In Florida though, there’s good news – it’s not the case.
What Does Florida Say about Property in a Divorce?
Usually, assets and property acquired during your marriage are considered community or marital property, no matter the jurisdiction where they live. The use of a prenuptial agreement often results in your property being classified differently than what state law says. The other assets are considered separate property, regardless of what jurisdiction you live in.
Any property you or your spouse has acquired before you were married is deemed your separate property. Any assets you or your spouse receive as a gift, inherit, or as a personal injury settlement during your marriage are also considered separate property. The only exception to this rule is compensation for lost wages. This is typically considered marital property.
If you or your spouse receive assets for separate property, the proceeds typically remain the property of the original owner.
Prenuptial vs. Postnuptial Agreements
There’s an important difference between prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. If either of these is in effect, it may impact how the property division process is handled during your divorce.
The prenuptial agreement is signed before you are married. A postnuptial agreement is signed after you are married. In some states, courts may have more scrutiny related to postnuptial agreements, while others don’t recognize them at all. This is due to the worries of spouses having the fiduciary duty to not take advantage of one another. With a prenuptial agreement, this duty isn’t a factor.
Do You Know Your Rights?
The state of Florida has unique laws and requirements related to property division during a divorce. Understanding your rights and the requirements imposed by the law can help you figure out what assets you are entitled to keep and what assets you must split with your spouse.
If you are going through this legal proceeding, the best thing you can do is to contact a divorce lawyer for help. An attorney will know the laws related to property division during a divorce in Florida and be able to apply them to your case. Having an attorney help you along the way will help reduce the stress of an already stressful situation and ensure you have the best possibility of achieving the desired outcome.
There’s no reason to go through your divorce alone. There are legal professionals available to provide you with the help, support, and resources you need. If you are ready to get started, contact Lewert Law, LLC by calling (561) 544-6861 for help and information.