When married couples get divorced in Florida, there are certain guidelines that are used to determine how property will be divided between the spouses. These guidelines are based on certain factors that are particular to each marriage. For this reason, the division of property for one couple may not be the same for another couple.
Florida is not one of the 10 states that use community property laws to divide property in all cases of divorce. In Florida, property is divided on the basis of equitable distribution. When people go through a divorce they may not be equitable or fair about property division. For this reason, a judge determines how to split up assets based on several different factors.
When a judge determines how to divide property in a divorce, one of the primary elements that he or she will consider is income disparity. This means that if one spouse makes significantly more money than the other, then he or she may be given a less sizable portion of the divided assets. Income disparity can also come into play if one of the spouses has a physical condition or health issue that prevents them from earning an equal income. Judges may also consider the issue of income if one of the spouses has a health condition that requires expensive medical treatment.
If the divorce was the result of a fault, like abuse or mistreatment, the responsible partner may be less likely to receive a large share of the property. A significant difference in age may also affect the judge's decision.
Divorce is a complex issue. An attorney may be able to help by advising a client about the property division and asset valuation procedures throughout the divorce process.
Source: Findlaw, "Florida Marital Property Laws", November 26, 2014