Marital Asset & Debt Division
Dividing marital property can be a significant part of any Florida divorce. While statute provides for an equitable, or fair, division of marital assets, and a rebuttable presumption that an equal division is equitable, property division can still be complex and tedious. Having an experienced divorce and family law attorney on your side can make the difference in making sure you receive a fair property settlement. The Family Law Advocates are ready to provide you with the sound advice and excellent legal representation you deserve when going through a divorce. We understand what is needed to effectively fight for your rights to your marital property.
Florida law can be complex related to the valuation and identification of marital property. Not all property obtained during the marriage is marital and not all property owned before the marriage is separate. Valuing a retirement plan is very different from valuing a home or a business. With so many details and nuances to wade through, it just makes sense to seek the help of an experienced family law and marital property division attorney. The legal team at the Family Law Advocates has years of experience helping clients divide a wide array of assets, including:
- Real Estate
- Pensions and Defined Contribution Plans
- Stock and Investment Accounts
- Business Interests
- Increases in Value to Separate Property
- Tangible Property; and
With each divorce we handle, the only goal is to obtain the best possible outcome for our clients. That includes a fair distribution of the marital estate. Let us put our legal and problem-solving skills to work for you as we help you move on to the next chapter of your life.Marital Property and Florida Law
Florida law, under Chapter 61.075, dictates that marital property is essentially any property acquired during the course of a marriage, with exceptions. Exceptions may include property received by one spouse from a third party, such as gift or inheritance. However, marital property can potentially include active and passive appreciation on separate property received or owned before or during the marriage.
Florida law also requires the court to equally divide marital liabilities, meaning debts incurred during the marriage. Pre-marital debt is generally going to be the responsibility of the individual spouse. In some cases, there may be more debt than assets to allocate.
Determining marital values and passive or active increases in value to separate property can be a complex endeavor, particularly when there are multiple assets to factor in. An experienced divorce attorney can assist in helping you understand what you are entitled to under the law.
While a Florida judge has the discretion, or power, to divide the marital estate as he or she deems fair, the division must be equal, unless there is a justification for an unbalanced asset allocation. Factors the court can look at include:
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage
- Each spouse’s economic circumstances
- The length of the marriage
- Career and educational background, including disruptions during the marriage and contributions from the other spouse
- Each spouse’s contribution to the acquiring, enhancement, and income from an asset
- Each spouse’s contribution to homemaking and the children
- The desirability of keeping a business entity intact
- The age of the children and their best interests related to the primary residence
The court can also look at “dissipation” or marital waste issues. When one spouse unjustifiably disposes of or squanders marital assets, within the 2 years leading up to the divorce, they may be accountable for such in the final asset and debt division.
Aside from these basic tenets of marital property statute, there are also nuances to be considered related to income flow, transfer of assets, and each spouse’s rights after the divorce judgment enters. With the goal of building lasting relationships, we are ready to help with all aspects of dividing your marital property.Hire the Right Divorce and Marital Property Division Firm
Disagreements can arise regarding what a fair division of marital property may look like. Disagreements can also arise regarding the assigned value of property, what constitutes marital property, or just how division should occur. That is where the Family Law Advocates come in. As experienced divorce and family law attorneys, we understand how important your assets are to you. We also understand the desire to end your marriage with as much of your hard-earned property as possible.
With each divorce case we handle, we work to provide:
- Sensible strategies for dividing your marital estate
- Intelligent plans for accurately valuing your marital property
- Strong evidentiary support for distinguishing separate property
- Thorough preparation for settlement or court
- Prompt and responsive communication with each client
- Efficiency during every aspect of your divorce
- Sound and honest advice throughout the process
At the Family Law Advocates, we understand that you get one shot at doing your divorce correctly. We know what is at stake and the lasting ramifications the division of your marital assets can have on your future. As advisors and advocates, we’re here to assist you with all of your divorce and marital asset division needs. To us, each case matters, regardless of the size or complexity.
In addition to helping you with your original divorce proceedings, our attorneys can also assist in enforcing your final divorce judgment and property division orders after the case is completed.Contact the Family Law Advocates
If you’re going through a divorce, or thinking about filing, contact the Family Law Advocates. In addition to representing men and women in all types of family law cases, we are also here to provide advice and strategy ideas ahead of time. Knowledge is power and sometimes it pays to know what you might be facing before you file your case, or hire an attorney. Regardless of your circumstances or the size of your marital estate, we can help. Give us a call today, at (813) 592-5000, or contact us online to schedule your confidential consultation with a member of our Tampa area family law team.