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Marital v. Separate Property


It is important to understand the difference between marital and separate property when heading into a divorce. Marital property is considered any property or debt that is acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage, where as separate property refers to property or debt acquired before the marriage began or after a divorce. Separate property also includes inheritances, gifts from third parties, and restitution.

Equitable Distribution of Marital Property

Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that all marital property is to be divided "equitably" during a divorce. It is important to understand that "equitable" does not mean "equal." Equitable means fair. Instead of dividing marital property equally between the spouses, the judge will divide the property in a way that he or she thinks is fair based on each spouse's financial situation and contributions to the marriage. Other factors a judge is likely to take into consideration include:

  • Each spouse's current income
  • The duration of the marriage
  • Each spouse's non-financial contributions to the marriage, such as if one spouse stayed home from work to care for the children and tend to the house
  • If either spouse owns a business
  • If one spouse worked to support the family while the other went backed to school to pursue a career or trade skill
  • Each party's desire to keep the family home
  • How dividing the assets and debt will affect children

Contact a Knowledgeable Jacksonville Divorce Attorney

If you are interested in learning more about marital versus separate property or have any questions in regards to your property rights, Jacksonville divorce lawyer would be more than happy to meet with you. Hutchinson Law has handled countless divorces on behalf of clients throughout the Jacksonville area and has a great deal of knowledge in regards to Florida's equitable distribution laws.

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