Yaffa Family Law Group
By: Doreen Yaffa

How Are Assets and Liabilities Divided During Divorce?


If you have never been through a divorce before, it can be stressful and confusing. Chances are you have never thought about your financial life in terms of assets and liabilities. However, Florida requires an equitable split of marital assets during a divorce, and therefore, you need to understand how it works and how the process will affect you.

How Are Assets and Liabilities Divided in a Divorce

When thinking about dividing the assets and liabilities during a divorce, there are five key things to consider.

The Date of Valuation – This means, what date are we using to evaluate the assets? Typically, this can be the date of the divorce petition, or you can use another agreed-upon date.

The Value of the Assets and Liabilities – Here, we need to determine the value of each asset and liability. For things like bank accounts and credit cards, we will use the last statement date. For something like cars and real estate, the spouses may agree on a value or use an appraiser to evaluate the property.

Who Gets What – The next thing to look at is which spouse will get what asset. Often, the marital estate is split down the middle, and each spouse will get 50% of the value. Sometimes one spouse may keep an asset, and the other will receive 1/2 of the value.

The Balance Sheet – Florida law requires that each spouse get 50% of the marital estate in a divorce. That includes both debts and assets. So, anything that is co-owned or co-borrowed will be split between both parties. The balance sheet is used to determine all the figures.

Who is Getting Which Asset and Does Anyone Owe an Equalizing Payment? – Spouses decide who will keep each of the assets and who will be bought out. For example, a recent client who got divorced chose to keep his house. He then owed his ex-spouse 1/2 of the real estate value, which he paid to her over two years. These equalizing payments may be paid from other assets, outright or over time. Whatever the couple decides is how the agreement will be written.

Questions About Assets and Liabilities?

If you have any questions about how assets and liabilities are calculated or divided during a divorce or any general questions about the divorce process itself, contact Yaffa Family Law Group today for a free consultation.