What Assets and Liabilities Will Be Divided in a Divorce Case?

The question of what assets and liabilities will be divided in a divorce case is one that our clients and their spouses frequently ask. In some cases, it is possible for a couple to reach a mutually-acceptable agreement on how property will be divided outside of court. In other cases, however, it becomes necessary to have a judge step in and decide the issue for them. When that happens, there is a risk that one party may not be satisfied with the outcome.

The Florida courts are expected to follow the principle of equitable distribution when it comes to dividing up assets and debts in a divorce action. What this means is that all of the assets and debts acquired by either or both spouses during marriage will be subject to division – it does not matter if they were brought into the marriage separately or in joint names or if they were titled as separate property.

That said, there are some unique rules that apply when determining what constitutes marital property in a Florida divorce case. For example, a presumption exists that any real or personal property that is held as tenants by the entireties (meaning both parties own it jointly) will be considered marital property, regardless of whether it was acquired prior to marriage or during marriage. A married couple should carefully consider how they are holding title to their property before arguing that certain items are non-marital property.

In addition, a judge will look at the nature of the asset and how it was treated during the course of the marriage in determining its status as marital or non-marital property. For instance, if separate property was commingled with marital property or funds (i.e., one spouse used marital money to make home improvements on separate property), then that separate property may be deemed as marital property in a divorce action. This type of situation can be very challenging to argue in court, which is why having a Miami equitable distribution attorney on your side is crucial.

A judge will also look at how easy or difficult an asset is to divide when making a determination as to its status. For instance, a business that was started by one spouse during the marriage might be difficult to split in half, which is why it would be more likely that this asset be classified as marital property rather than separate. Similarly, if one spouse committed adultery during the marriage and squandered or eroded the value of some non-marital property, that behavior might be taken into consideration by a judge in calculating an equitable division award.

The Miami divorce attorney of Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law, LLC are well-equipped to handle complex issues in marital property division. We have the knowledge, skill and determination needed to advocate assertively for an arrangement that meets your needs and protects your financial future.

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