In the State of Florida, the marital or non-marital nature of assets and liabilities must be determined in the divorce process. Florida law requires the equitable (not to be miss-construed as equal) division of marital assets and liabilities with the ultimate goal of being fair to both parties but also ensuring that the support needs of the parties and any children are met to the extent possible.

What is the difference between marriage assets and liabilities?

Marriage assets can include properties, homes, savings and bank accounts, art and other collections of equitable value, stocks, and jewelry accumulated throughout the marriage. Liabilities are debts accumulated throughout the marriage.

Legacy Law of Florida will aid in helping you determine what is a marital and non-marital asset and/or liability. Anything accumulated prior to the marriage may be labeled as non-marital properties. In some cases, such as enhancement of a property or the second spouse’s name added to a deed or contract can now be considered marital property. Also, gifts given by a third party to one spouse only, or an inheritance received by just one spouse may be labeled as non-marital property, if the item or finances were not used for marital purposes. In some cases, a third party appraiser or accountant may be needed to properly value items, property and other marital assets. This person will advise on how the items may be split equally within the divorce. Sometimes, certain situations can provide that the items will not be split completely equal. Some of these factors may include who will primarily be caring for the children, economical situations of each spouse, spousal contributions made, and if one spouse had an interruption of career for the purpose of the spouse or children. If one spouse has “wasted” assets leading up to the divorce, this may also be considered within the division of assets.