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Home / Division of Property in a Florida Divorce

Division of Property in a Florida Divorce

Florida adheres to the equitable distribution principle when dividing property in a divorce.

Unlike community property states, where assets and debts acquired during the marriage are divided equally, Florida courts strive to distribute marital assets and liabilities in a manner that is fair and just, considering the circumstances of each case.

Key Principles

  • Equitable Distribution: This involves dividing assets and debts acquired during the marriage between the spouses in a fair manner, which may not always mean equally. Factors influencing equitable distribution include each spouse's economic circumstances, the duration of the marriage, and contributions to the marriage, among others.
  • Marital vs. Non-Marital Property:
    • Marital Property: Includes most assets and debts a couple acquires during their marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title.
    • Non-Marital Property: Consists of assets and debts owned by either spouse before the marriage, as well as gifts or inheritances received by an individual spouse during the marriage, and certain personal injury awards.

Factors Considered in Property Division

  • Identification: Determining which assets and debts are marital and which are non-marital.
  • Valuation: Establishing the value of marital property for distribution.
  • Distribution: Dividing the property equitably, considering various factors such as the contributions of each spouse to the marriage (including homemaking and child care), the economic circumstances of each spouse, the duration of the marriage, and any interruptions of personal careers or educational opportunities.

Special Considerations

  • Retirement Accounts and Pensions: Subject to equitable distribution. The portion of retirement accounts and pensions accrued during the marriage is considered marital property and divided accordingly.
  • Businesses and Professional Practices: The division of businesses and professional practices requires careful evaluation to determine their value and how they should be divided or if one spouse should be compensated for their share.
  • Debts: Like assets, debts incurred during the marriage are subject to equitable distribution.
  • Real Estate: The division of real estate considers whether the property was acquired during the marriage and its value. Options for division include selling the property and dividing proceeds, one spouse buying out the other's interest, or other arrangements deemed fair by the court.


The division of property in a Florida divorce is governed by the principle of equitable distribution, aiming for a fair division of marital assets and liabilities. This process involves careful consideration of each spouse's contributions to the marriage, economic circumstances, and the specifics of each asset and debt.

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