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Splitting marital property in a divorce

In Florida, and in many other states in the country, marital property is split in a fair and equitable fashion. Whether a judge presiding over the case determines who is entitled to what in the divorce settlement or the couple negotiates the terms of the divorce through mediation, dividing marital property can be daunting. Both parties are responsible for disclosing all marital property they have in their possession. However, this includes more than the family home, vehicles, furniture and belongings.

There are items that may get passed over but should be included as marital property in the divorce settlement. Some of these items include the following:

  •          Expensive art, antique, car and coin collections
  •          Memberships to exclusive golf or country clubs
  •          Lottery ticket winnings and income tax refunds
  •          Intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks, copyrights and royalties

Gifts that spouses’ give to one another during the course of the marriage are also considered marital property and are eligible for division in a divorce. Furthermore, if one spouse lent money and/or property to a third-party during the marriage, the other spouse is entitled to half once it is repaid. This holds true even if the amount is repaid after the divorce is finalized.

Certain assets accumulated while the couple was married, such as 401k plans, stock options, deferred compensation from previous employers and term life insurance policies are also divisible upon divorce. It is important that couples keep these factors in mind when creating a divorce settlement, so they receive everything they are entitled once the marriage is terminated.

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