Is Florida a Community Property State? - Aaron Delgado & Associates

Is Florida a Community Property State or an Equitable Distribution State?

by Aaron Delgado
08/30/22 (Updated: 11/13/22)

No matter how amicable a divorce might seem, there are a lot of issues that must get sorted out before the divorce can be finalized. One of the most important issues is the division of property. In general, there are two different categories into which a state might follow. A state is either a community property state or an equitable distribution state.

Learn more about the division of property below, and make sure that you rely on a trained lawyer who can help you go through the divorce process fairly and justly, making sure that your rights are defended every step of the way.

What Is a Community Property State?

If a state is classified as a community property state, the stated intent is to take all of the marital property and divide it evenly between the two spouses. The first step is to figure out which property qualifies as community property. Then, that property is taken and split down the middle between the two spouses.

While this process might be faster, there are very few states that take this approach, because dividing the property half and half does not necessarily mean that the property has been divided fairly.

What Is an Equitable Distribution State?

The vast majority of states fall under the category of equitable distribution. With this approach, the goal is to divide the property fairly, but the goal is not necessarily to divide it half and half. There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding who gets what in a divorce, and it is critical to rely on a lawyer who can take a look at the process and make sure it is handled with care.

What Type of State Is Florida?

When it comes to the division of property, Florida is an equitable distribution state. There are very few states that fall under the community property rules, and Florida is not one of them. That means that Florida will try to find the way to most fairly divide the property among spouses who are getting a divorce.

Is Property Divided in Florida 50/50?

There are a lot of people who believe that if the property is to be divided equally, it is going to be divided half and half between the spouses. In reality, this is not the case. The goal is to divide the property fairly, and that does not mean dividing it equally.

Often, the equitable division of property will result in one spouse getting significantly more property than the other spouse, which is why you need to rely on an attorney who can help you.

What Factors Are Considered When Dividing the Property Fairly?

There are a lot of factors that a judge might consider when dividing the property following a divorce in Florida. The division of property will be based on a number of factors, including:

Earning Potential

The judge is going to consider the earning potential of each spouse. Following a divorce, the judge will want to give each spouse the greatest potential of maintaining the lifestyle they enjoyed during the marriage. If one spouse's earning potential is significantly lower, then the judge might give him or her a bit more marital property to try to make up for the lost income that would otherwise be flowing into the home.

Length of Marriage

The length of the marriage will also play a role in deciding how the property is divided. The longer the couple stayed together, the greater the chance of considering more property marital property than individual property. This will give the couple more room to split the assets evenly, which the judge will consider while doing so. Longer marriages often take longer to sort out during a divorce because of this fact.

Number of Children

The number of children in the home will also influence how the assets are divided. If there are a lot of children at home, then one parent is going to have to take care of them and raise them. This means that they will probably require more marital property to do so.

The judge might even consider whether the children are attached to certain items or whether they have special needs. If there are children at home, there are always more items to sort out, so the judge will need to act in the best interests of the children as well.

Career Sacrifices

If one spouse made career sacrifices for the marriage, this is something that the judge will consider. It is not unusual for one spouse to give up his or her career in an effort to stay home with the kids. If that is the case, the judge will recognize this and honor it by awarding more marital property because the spouse left financial earning power on the table to fight for the marriage.

Individual Debt and Assets

The judge will also take individual debt and assets into account as well. The extent to which each judge considers individual debt and assets is something that varies from judge to judge. That is why it is critical to rely on an attorney who can advocate for your rights and protect your interests during the division of property in the state of Florida.

What About the Reasons for the Divorce?

There is another important factor that could play a role in the division of property in the state of Florida. That is the extent to which each spouse is responsible for the divorce taking place.

For example, if one spouse is responsible for the majority of the divorce because they cheated on their spouse or committed a heinous crime, then this is something that the judge is going to consider as well. This is something that you need a lawyer to help you with because the legal argument could play a major role in how everything turns out. That is where we can help you.

Work With Aaron Delgado and Associates During a Florida Divorce

The divorce process in Florida can be long and arduous, and you need to have a legal professional in your corner who can advocate for your rights and protect your interests.

At Aaron Delgado and Associates, we have a tremendous amount of experience working with a wide variety of cases, and it would be our pleasure to fight for you as well. We will make sure that your rights are protected during the divorce proceeding, and we will keep you updated every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!

Free Consultation Start Your Case Online