For many couples considering divorce, the process of separating their property may intimidate them into procrastination. Not knowing what to expect from the property division process can make people feel as though their best option is to remain in an unhappy marriage rather than gamble with the unpredictable outcome of divorce litigation.
The more resources people have acquired during their marriages, the more likely they are to worry about the financial consequences of a divorce. Valuable property could be at risk of sale in divorce proceedings as part of the property division process, which can be a daunting thought.
If a couple has acquired numerous pieces of real estate, possibly as vacation homes or investments, the spouse considering divorce may worry that they will have to sell that property. Is the liquidation of real estate inevitable in a Florida divorce?
Equitable distribution sometimes requires asset liquidation
The Florida approach to property division involves the equitable distribution of marital property. Income earned during the marriage and assets acquired during that time are subject to division, as are the debts accrued during the marriage.
Judges can award marital property to either spouse and can also order the sale of certain assets as part of the property division. The less equity a couple has in real property, the more likely it is that a judge might order them to sell the property and share the proceeds rather than assigning the assets to each spouse separately in the divorce. Unfortunately, divorcing spouses don’t actually have control over what terms a judge decides to impose in their property division order.
Couples can set their own terms in uncontested divorces
People with very specific divorce priorities often need to take a different approach than the average couple. Instead of litigating and waiting for a judge to decide what would be appropriate, the couple can negotiate with one another, have their attorneys lead negotiations and/or attend mediation.
Those who resolve their own property division matters themselves can move forward with an uncontested divorce filing. Spouses might agree to sell certain properties and keep others or to allow one spouse to retain investment assets in consideration of other concessions made during negotiations. Determining top priorities and seeking legal guidance as necessary will be key as someone prepares for property division negotiations related to divorce proceedings in Florida.