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Miami Family Law Attorneys:
In a Florida divorce, one of the primary components is the equitable distribution of your marital property such as assets, as well as debts and liabilities. In fact, this element of divorce often becomes one of the most seriously contested divorce terms. Because your financial rights are on the line, it is always in your best interest to work closely with an experienced Florida divorce attorney.
Is It Marital Property?
If you and your spouse acquired an asset or debt during the course of your marriage, it is very likely marital property, and it doesn’t matter who made the purchase or whose name is on the paperwork. There are some exceptions to this such as
- Any inheritances either of you received in your own name only & are kept separate may be non-marital and not subject to be divided
- Any gifts either of you received in your own name only & are kept separate as well
It’s as simple as that, but the matter can become complicated very quickly when the issue of when a spouse has a marital interest in something the other spouse had prior to the marriage, for example.
Is It Separate Property?
Those assets that either of you brought into the marriage with you will remain your own separate property as long as (and this is the tricky part) you keep the asset separate throughout the marriage. The nature of marriage is to combine things in a yours, mine, and ours approach, which can make keeping separate property separate very challenging. The more complicated it is to disentangle what either of you considers a separate property from your marital property, the less likely it is to be deemed separate by the court. Another important point to make is that even if the property is kept strictly separate from the marital, financial melee, any increase in its value is very likely a marital asset.
The Division of Assets and Debts or Liabilities
In the state of Florida, your marital property will be divided equitably rather than being divided equally (necessarily). Equitably means fairly (once all the relevant circumstances are factored in), and these circumstances can include:
- The length of your marriage
- You and your divorcing spouse’s income and earning potential
- The number of minor children who remain at home (factoring in whether any of these children have special needs that require additional care)
- Whether one of you made sacrifices in your own career or education in order to support the other’s
- You and your divorcing spouse’s separate assets and debts
- You and your divorcing spouse’s overall physical and mental health
- Any other factors that the judge deems relevant in your case
After taking all of the factors that apply to your case into careful consideration, the court will endeavor to divide your marital property in a manner that is fair to both of you, and that helps to uphold the value of the asset in question. For example, forcing you to sell a small business in order to divide the amount between you is likely to mean a loss for both of you.
Turn to an Experienced Florida Divorce Attorney for the Legal Guidance You Need
The trusted divorce attorneys at Costa & Associates dedicate their impressive legal practice to helping clients like you obtain just divorce terms that uphold their financial rights. To schedule a free consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 305-827-0100 today.