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What should people know about property division in Florida?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Property Division

People who are going through a divorce have a lot of things to untangle. Some of their challenges concern the property they’ve amassed during the marriage. Florida uses the equitable distribution standard to divide property. This means that assets and debts are divided based on what’s fair instead of what’s purely equal.

Making informed decisions about property division in Florida starts with an understanding of what is likely to affect the outcome of the process. This understanding can impact one’s approach to negotiations, and to litigation, if litigation is ultimately necessary.

Presence of a prenuptial agreement

A prenuptial agreement outlines the terms of what happens to specific assets and debts if there’s a divorce. If there’s one that’s legally enforceable in place, those terms will be followed. There may still be other assets or debts to address, but the ones included in the prenup will already be sorted out.

Assets and debts are both addressed

Some people become so focused on the assets that need to be divided that they forget that debts also have to be taken care of. Debts may be used to balance out the property division process, but they still must be handled in an equitable manner. In some cases, this means assigning specific debts to each person and they’re responsible for those as part of the divorce.

Because creditors aren’t part of the case, they don’t have to abide by those terms. They can still hold both parties accountable for the debts if one person doesn’t pay. Some people who are going through a divorce opt to liquidate assets to pay off debts. Others may choose to transfer joint debts into individual accounts so one person failing to pay won’t impact the other.

It’s critical for people going through a divorce to ensure they understand their options during property division. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to get started.