For some Floridians, firearms are part of a way of life and a significant amount of money is tied up in firearms collection. For these folks, divorce can present issues not only in terms of dividing the value of firearms between the couple, but also when allegations of domestic violence come into play.
First of all, under Florida law, marital assets are distributed equally between the parties, and this would include firearms that are part of the marital estate. Firearms would not be considered part of the marital estate if they were acquired during the marriage by either spouse or if they were purchased by a spouse as a gift for the other. Firearms acquired prior to marriage or separately as a gift or by inheritance would not be subject to division in divorce.
Like other assets in divorce, firearms would be divided based on the consideration of a variety of factors, with end goal of reaching an equitable result. The presumption, by law is that division should be equal, but courts can make adjustments based on circumstances to ensure a just outcome. When it comes to firearms that are part of the marital estate, courts would likely compensate the other party when one spouse wishes to keep those assets after divorce. Otherwise, they could be liquidated and the proceeds divided appropriately.
In some families, of course, firearms collections or specific firearms are a valuable possession and may become a point of contention in divorce. In these cases, when there is no valid written agreement and the couple cannot work out a solution, the court would have to make a decision about how to divide these assets.
In our next post, we’ll look at some of the implications with firearms in divorce cases where there are allegations of abuse or violence.