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Is Florida a community property state?

If you are a Florida resident contemplating divorce, you undoubtedly have many concerns. Which of you will get custody of your children? Which of you will have visitation and how much? Will the judge allow you and your children to continue to live in your family home? How will (s)he decide to divide all your household property between you and your spouse?

Florida is not one of the 10 community property states wherein courts consider marital assets as jointly owned by the spouses. In those states, marital property and debts are distributed equally between divorcing spouses except under special circumstances.

Equitable distribution

As FindLaw explains, Florida adopted the Uniform Disposition of Community Property Rights at Death Act instead. This act calls for an equitable distribution of your property during your divorce. In other words, the judge decides what property division is fair and equitable. It could be a 50-50 split, or it could be something else depending on your specific circumstances.

To determine what is fair and equitable, the judge will consider a number of factors, including the following:

  • Is there a gap between you and your spouse‚Äôs respective incomes and/or earning capabilities?
  • Does either of you have a health condition that entails greater expenses?
  • Is either of you expecting a large inheritance in the near future?
  • Has either of you given the other expensive gifts that are now considered separate property?

In addition, although Florida is a no fault divorce state, if your spouse committed adultery or domestic violence during your marriage, this, too, could lead to your getting a greater share of the marital property. While this information should not be taken as legal advice, it can help you understand the property distribution process during your divorce and what to expect.

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