When couples have been married for some time, remembering which spouse brought certain possessions into the marriage may be difficult to do. Determining which spouse's salary went toward buying one item versus another may also be difficult to do.
While having to make sense of all this while you're married is likely unimportant, if you're headed for divorce, it can make things complicated. In an equitable distribution state like Florida, a judge will hear arguments from both spouses as far as claims to property and contributions to household income are concerned. They will then utilize a formula approved by the state to distribute the marital property.
Couples often consume themselves with how they're going to divide up assets, but neglect to think about how debts get divided up when couples divorce as well. This means that if any money is owed on a mortgage, credit card or other bill, then a judge will also divide those accordingly between the two spouses using that same formula.
If the two of you share ownership of real estate or jointly own a business, rental properties, land or a vacation home, then these are assets that a judge will also split up between the two of you. When splitting up a business, you two may find that you have certain obligations to a partner. You may also have to reach an agreement as to the management and ownership of a professional practice if you continue to jointly run it.
You two may also share financial interests. There's likely a shared checking or savings account. You may each have a 401(k) plan, stocks, trusts, profit sharing plans, pensions, mutual funds, annuties, educational funds or life insurance policies as well. Each of these may need to be divided up.
Valuable home furnishings such as china, art collections, antiques or home office equipment may have to be assessed for value so that a judge can make a decision as to how they should be split up. Designer clothing, guns, jewelry and even possessions like campers or boats may also have to be appraised before they're ultimately divided up between the two of you.
If you're considering divorcing your spouse and you have a significant amount of possessions that you anticipate having to split up, then a Fort Myers high asset divorce attorney can advise you in your situation.
Source: FindLaw, "Checklist: Dividing marital property," accessed March 02, 2018