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What Assets and Support is a Wife Entitled to in a Florida Divorce?

what is a wife entitled to in a divorce

Going through a divorce can feel like your world is turning upside down. Your emotional and financial future may seem uncertain. But it helps to understand your legal rights.

This ensures you can negotiate a fair settlement. When marriage ends in Florida, there are key assets and support a wife is typically entitled to. Let’s explore some of the basics.

Division of Marital Assets and Debts

Florida follows equitable distribution laws when it comes to property division during divorce. This means marital property accumulated during the marriage is divided equitably between spouses.

Marital assets include things like the marital home, retirement accounts, investments, cars, and personal possessions bought jointly or individually during the marriage. Credit card debt and loans taken out in both spouses’ names are also divided.

The goal is an equal 50/50 split. However, the court can deviate from this based on certain factors. For example, if there is a sizable income disparity between spouses, assets may be divided to offset this imbalance.

The length of the marriage also matters. A judge may alter the distribution if one spouse made significantly larger contributions over a long-term marriage.

Deciding Who Gets the House

One major asset couples have to divide is the marital home. There are several options on the table. The home could be sold, and proceeds split equally between spouses. One spouse may keep the home and buy out the other spouse’s interest in the property.

There are a few factors to weigh here:

  • Was this the primary family home where you raised your children?
  • How long have you lived there?
  • What are the financial situations and future needs of each spouse?

For couples married a long time with adult children, selling the home to split proceeds may make the most sense to achieve closure. For a younger couple with young kids, keeping continuity in the family home may be best.

Splitting Retirement Savings

Retirement accounts like 401(k) plans, pensions, and IRAs acquired during the marriage are considered joint marital property. The total value is determined at the time of filing. These assets are typically divided proportionally based on the length of the marriage.

For example, if you were married for 12 years, each spouse would receive 50% of the retirement funds accumulated during this 12-year timeframe. This allows both individuals to share the growth in savings achieved as a married couple.

Divvying Up Personal Property

Cars, furniture, jewelry, art, and other personal possessions purchased during the marriage are divided as well. Some items may be split 50/50 or sold and proceeds divided. Other possessions, like family heirlooms, are allocated based on sentimental value. For instance, the wife may be awarded her engagement ring and jewelry gifted by the husband.

When Spousal Support Comes Into Play

Many people have heard of alimony or spousal support awards in divorce. The purpose is to maintain the standard of living for the lower-earning spouse after divorce. It aims to prevent an unfair financial impact, especially after lengthy marriages.

The court examines factors like the comparative incomes of spouses, who was the primary breadwinner, the length of the marriage, and future earning capacity.

In Florida, permanent alimony has been eliminated, but you may still be entitled to several years of payments. Rehabilitative alimony applies for shorter marriages to cover costs as the lower-earning spouse transitions to self-sufficiency. Check out our Alimony Calculator to learn how much you may be entitled to.

Parenting Plan Considerations

If there are minor children, a parenting plan for time-sharing (or “child custody” as it’s called in other states) and decision-making will be part of divorce negotiations. Shared parental responsibility is common for most couples today. This means parents jointly make major decisions about the child’s welfare, like health care, education, religion, etc.

Time-sharing schedules can vary greatly. Some common arrangements are alternating weekly, 2-2-3 day splits, or divisions based on the needs of younger vs. older kids. The schedule aims to maximize time for both parents. Holidays, school breaks, and summers may be split equally or alternated annually.

Calculating Child Support Obligations

Child support is determined based on Florida’s child support guidelines. The calculation uses both parents’ incomes and timeshare percentages. Added expenses like health insurance premiums and childcare costs may also be factored in. Support is owed until the child turns 18. Additional time can be awarded if the child is still completing high school.

Consult an Attorney About Your Specific Situation

As you can see, divorce involves equitably dividing substantial marital property and determining support and custody. It’s crucial to understand your legal rights and options to negotiate the best settlement. A family law attorney can provide the clarity needed to move forward confidently into your new future.

The team at Vasquez de Lara Law Group has extensive experience in guiding clients through amicable dissolutions. Reach out for a free case evaluation today to discuss your specific situation. With the right advice, you can gain confidence to do what’s best for your family.

Author Bio

Vanessa Vasquez de Lara is the founder and owner of Vasquez de Lara Law Group, a Miami family law firm. With over 20 years of experience in family law, she has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including divorces, child support, child custody, alimony, and other family law cases.

Vanessa received her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 2002 and is a member of the Florida Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named to the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars and the 2016-2023 Super Lawyers list.

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