If you and your spouse are in a position to resolve the legal side of your divorce amicably, there are a few things you should know about the asset division process. In a contentious divorce, a judge is called upon to resolve the differences between the two parties. This situation is necessary under certain circumstances. But, if you and your spouse don’t require judicial intervention to reach an understanding, you can construct whatever kind of asset division agreement seems fair to you both.
The idea of fairness is central to the asset division challenges that divorcing Florida couples face. This is because Florida is an equitable distribution state, not an equal one.
If you were divorcing in an equal distribution state and your divorce turned contentious, you’d be required to divide the value of all of your marital property 50-50. In Florida, even if your divorce becomes contentious, a judge will be empowered to divide the value of your assets in a way that is fair.
When constructing an asset division plan, you’ll want to determine which assets you’d like to retain ownership of. That way, you can factor their value into your division calculus. But perhaps you’re not terribly interested in retaining many (or any) specific assets. Perhaps you’re more interested in having a reliable source of income.
In this scenario, you could allow your spouse to keep the majority (or all) of your marital assets and opt to be compensated for your fair share of their value via a spousal support arrangement. Spousal support – traditionally referred to as alimony – can be paid by either spouse in scenarios that are described as “bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, or permanent in nature” under Florida law.
While a judge can order spousal support in the event that your divorce becomes contentious, don’t forget that it is an option that you and your spouse can choose for yourselves if you’re hoping to resolve your differences amicably.