In the law, community property is a type of marital property regime that states that the majority of property acquired during a marriage is owned by both spouses. This means that the property is divided upon divorce, even if one spouse actually purchased the majority of the property. However, different states have different laws regarding community property. For example, the community property laws in Florida differ from the community property laws in other states.
Florida is not a community property state. Rather, Florida law asserts equitable distribution. Although sometimes equitable distribution means that there is a fifty-fifty split of the property, it does not always mean that. In a community property state, the property acquired during marriage is almost always split in half. In Florida, even though it practices equitable distribution, the norm is for the court to split the property half and half. However, this excludes property that is acquired before the marriage, property that is acquired as a gift, or property that is inherited.
Definition of Property
In Florida, property is defined as anything that could be considered an asset. Thus, property includes not only your house, it may also include your car, any time shares, any investments, pets, stocks, bank accounts, and even your business. In Florida, a couple should also define their liabilities when they are seeking a divorce. Liabilities acquired during a marriage can also be divided between the two spouses. Examples of liabilities might be a credit card debt or loan defaults.
Non-Marital Assets and Liabilities
In Florida, the definition of "nonmarital assets and liabilities" is important. These will be the items that are not split between spouses when they seek a divorce. Some examples of nonmarital assets and liabilities include, but are not limited to, the following: income that is acquired from nonmarital assets during the marriage (unless the income was deposited into a marital account), and assets and liabilities that were excluded from consideration as a marital asset or marital liability by a prenuptial agreement. Spouses that seek divorce in Florida should consider deciding amongst themselves what they want to split and which spouse receives what. The Florida courts frequently honor these agreements between spouses.