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What to Expect in a Florida Divorce?
Please enter your email address. Are you a new client? Yes, I am a potential new client No, I'm a current existing client I'm neither Please make a selection. It does not matter whose name the asset is titled in. There are many unique rules that govern gifts, inheritances, retirement accounts, and family businesses. Get to know us: Jason Ponder, Esq. Marital property is divided by the court in a Florida divorce. Florida Statute It includes:.
This situation frequently arises when one spouse owns a business from before the marriage.
Consumer Pamphlet: Divorce In Florida
After the marriage, the other spouse becomes an employee of the business. By the efforts of both parties, the business expands and increases in value. That increase in value would be considered marital property, even if the business existed before the marriage.
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But business division in a divorce is a science all its own. Or consider a house owned by the wife.
Divorce Laws in Florida
She used and owned the house before she met and married the husband, and her name appears on the mortgage and title. After the two married, however, both of them spent a considerable amount of money improving and adding on to the house.
As a result of their efforts, the house appreciates in value. That appreciation would be considered marital property.
This can be advantageous for the spouse who gave the gift, as the value of the gift would be divided between the parties by the court. The same holds good for the debts accrued by both the parties if those debts are difficult to value. Typical independent professionals used by divorce attorneys are forensic CPAs, licensed appraisers, business valuators, and personal property valuators. In some cases complexities arise with equitable distribution because of co-mingling of non-marital property or income derived from it with the marital property.
For example, if the payments due on non-marital property are made with marital earnings, the lines between the two are blurred. In such cases, the court may deem all the property as marital property since the co-mingling indicates a willingness and intent to share the asset with the non-owner spouse. Further, there is NO guarantee that the court will uphold his or her viewpoint and grant complete ownership of the asset even when financial records or transactions are presented as proof.
The law states that in every divorce proceeding where equitable distribution needs to be made, the presumption is that both spouses receive half of the marital assets and debts, regardless of fault.
Can I Get the House Even If It’s Not My Separate Property?
However, one important consideration that may skew the presumption is the financial condition of either spouse. The objective of the court is to ensure that both spouses get fair and just treatment, which does not necessarily mean that properties adn debts are divided exactly equally between the two. There are several factors which are taken into consideration to make sure that the distribution is fair and balanced :. It is critical to remember that contribution is not merely of monetary nature.
Dividing Property in a Florida Divorce
Wrongful behavior such as criminal activity that drains assets may come into play for this factor. If alimony is justified but not financially feasible, a judge may award a greater share of assets to the spouse that should be paying alimony. For example, if someone ran up a huge student loan immediately before the divorce, and the other spouse worked like crazy during the school years to support that person.
The desirability and the practical aspects of such distribution may be considered in such cases. For example, a personal business that can only be operated by one spouse should logically go to that person.
The role each spouse has played in the accumulation of liabilities is also considered. Intentional erosion of marital property within the period between the filing of the divorce petition and the actual court proceedings is also factored in. If marital income was used for an extended period to maintain, improve, and service the loan, a portion of the house will start to be considered marital. A common legal stance is to award right of residence to one spouse to live in the home for a specific time period until the children grow up. The two parties may be allowed to sell the home at a future date and share the proceeds.
Although these factors may all be considered in divorce proceedings while addressing the equitable distribution of property, these are not the only aspects evaluated. The court will take into consideration any other factors that play a significant role in ensuring that fair and just distribution of the assets, properties, and debts take place. For example, a business that was started by one spouse during the marriage may be given entirely to the spouse who is primarily involved in running it. The other may get monetary compensation in lieu of his or her right to this marital property.
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