While many states fall under what are known as community property laws, Florida is not one of them. This means that within a Florida divorce, the only assets to be divided are those which are deemed to have been acquired within the marriage, otherwise known as equitable division.
In the event of a divorce within a community property state, all assets, whether individually attained or purchased within a marriage, are considered marital property. In other words, if a husband entered into a marriage with sole ownership of a vintage car, the wife would retain one-half of that ownership in the event of a divorce. However, in the state of Florida, because it is known as an equitable division state, this is not the case. If that same husband and wife were to file for divorce in Florida, the husband would retain sole ownership of that asset.
There are exceptions to this rule. If we take that same husband and wife, but also consider the fact that the wife bought parts and expended an amount of money during the marriage in order to complete that car for her husband, then it potentially becomes marital property. Florida courts have allowed judges a vast window of decision making when disbursing marital property. Though the goal is, and should always be, to divide assets in an even 50/50 split, it is many times much easier said than done.
An experienced divorce attorney can dig in alongside you to decipher which assets should, and which should not be considered marital property. Any party who is even considering filing for divorce within the state of Florida should be prepared to prove ownership and expenditures both prior to, and within the marriage.