If you have recently filed to terminate your marriage in Florida, you know firsthand the difficulties of negotiating a divorce settlement. Whether you are going through a traditional courtroom divorce or you choose the mediation process to negotiate your final decree, it is important that you understand how property division works.
Florida is an equitable division of property state, meaning that all marital property is divided according to what the judge deems fair and equitable, according to Florida state statutes. Both parties are required to disclose all property in their possession. This ensures you receive what you are entitled to in the settlement.
What is marital property?
Everything amassed during the marriage is considered marital property. You may think of the contents of your banking account, family home and other possessions as marital property. Yet, there are several, less-common items that can be divided in the decree as well. These include the following:
- Intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks and copyrights
- Exclusive memberships to country clubs and golf courses
- Lottery ticket winnings
- 401k plans, stock options, term life insurance policies, retirement plans
- Travel rewards points
- Income tax refunds
Any gifts you and your spouse exchanged during the marriage can be divided in the decree as well.
What is separate property?
Not all property is marital property. There are some items that may stay with you even after the decree is finalized. Items, including inheritance money, gifts given to you by a third-party and compensation funds. Furthermore, if you owned property prior to the marriage, the property is not eligible for division if the title is only in your name.