When you are going through a divorce, dividing marital assets and property is a major source of contention for most couples.
Determining who gets to keep the house and who gets to keep retirement funds is an emotional process. After all, the stakes are high, and not dividing assets fairly could adversely affect your entire future. During this time, an experienced Florida divorce attorney can help you reach an amicable agreement with your spouse on the fair and equitable distribution of your marital assets.
Before you reach a final agreement regarding your marital property, however, you may want to consider these 5 important facts.
5 Facts about Property Division in Florida
- A Judge Has the Final Say - If you and your spouse are unable to reach a mutual agreement in regards to the division of your property, then your divorce will proceed to court, where a judge will make the final decision. Couples who wish to make their own decisions regarding asset division should enter into negotiation or mediation to finalize an agreement.
- Florida Is an Equitable Distribution State - Since Florida is an equitable distribution state, this means that all property and assets will be divided as fairly and evenly as possible.
- Property May Not be Divided Equally - Equitable distribution does not always result in an equal division of property. While assets are generally divided 50/50 whenever possible, there are times when a judge may grant more to one spouse than another.
- Marital Property vs Non-marital Property - Not all property is considered marital property. In general, most property acquired during the marriage is generally considered marital property, while property acquired prior to the marriage is considered non-marital property. In some cases, non-marital property that increased in value during the marriage may be subject to some division. Due to the complexities surrounding asset division and nonmarital property, it is highly recommended that you retain a skilled divorce attorney during this process.
- Dividing Your Debts - When dividing your property, divorcing couples must also divide their debts and liabilities.
Understanding Types of Marital Property
Under the equitable distribution law in Florida, marital property is any asset that was acquired during the marriage and jointly-owned. This does not include inherited gifts given to one party, however.
Examples of marital property include:
- Marital home
- Vacation property
- Investment properties
- Retirement accounts that increased in value during the marriage
- Gifts from one spouse to another
- Cars purchased with joint funds
- Debts accumulated during the marriage
To place a value on these assets, your lawyer will need to obtain copies of real estate appraisals, income tax returns, financial statements, jewelry appraisals, and retirement and stock portfolios. The value of your vehicles and furniture will be assessed using fair market values.
Contact Our Coral Gables Divorce Lawyers Today
If you are considering divorce and have concerns regarding the division of marital assets and property, the Coral Gables divorce lawyers at Estevez-Pazos Law Firm, P.A. are here to help. Dividing your assets is a complicated process that can be emotional for separating couples. We can help you protect your assets and your future during every stage of life. Call us today at (305) 717-7130 or fill out our confidential contact form and someone will get right back to you.