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Asset division doesn't always have to be a pain in the butt

The dissolving of a marriage is one of the most overwhelming events you can experience in Florida. Even if your divorce starts out relatively amicable, you and your spouse may have disputes over the division of your marital assets, thus ultimately making your divorce more acrimonious.

Another component of asset division that is causing increasing stress among divorcing couples is debt. Many couples embark on divorce with student loans, mortgages that are past due and credit card bills, complicating the marital split-up process even more.

Property division

If you and your future ex-spouse can decide for yourselves how you want to split up your property and debt, this is the easiest way to handle the division of property during a divorce proceeding. You can do this through informal negotiations or through a process such as mediation, which is an alternative to traditional divorce litigation.

However, many couples cannot find common ground in this area, so they end up having to go to court. In court, a judge will make the final determination for how they will divide their debt and property.

Equitable distribution

Florida is an equitable distribution state, where a judge will decide a fair, or equitable, way of splitting your property and debt during the divorce proceeding. As a result, you might end up with around 66 percent of your marital property if you earned more than your spouse did, whereas the other party may receive just 33 percent of the property. An equitable distribution state is different from a community property state, where a court divides property 50/50 between both spouses.

Separate property

While marital property is divided during divorce, separate property is not. This type of property includes anything you received before you married, such as pension proceeds, gifts, an inheritance or court awards. It also includes any property that you or your spouse obtained by using separate money -- for instance, a car purchased with inheritance funds.

Family home

So, who can keep the home? It really depends on your situation. If you purchased the family home with your own separate money and you and your spouse have no children, then you can legally keep the house. Meanwhile, if you have children but your spouse does the majority of the child rearing, then he or she will likely keep the family home. An applied understanding of the law can help you to aggressively and confidently pursue the asset division outcomes you desire considering the circumstances surrounding your divorce.