Florida Family Law – Divorce & Asset Division
In a Florida Divorce, one of the first thing that must be addressed is the couple’s division of assets. Governed by Florida Statutes 61.0075, Equitable Distribution of assets and debts. In a dissolution of marriage, couples are required to “set apart” non-marital assets and liabilities. There are frequently reasons for the courts to consider unequal distribution and a skilled Tampa divorce attorney can find relevant factors in such cases. Otherwise, equitable distribution allows for a presumption of the courts to consider assets equal between the parties.
Marital settlement agreements can help you to achieve results that are in the best interest of your family while keeping your case out of court. However, unlike collaborative divorces, couples can still retain their attorneys should the case go to trial. Attorney Sanchez offers practical solutions for complex, high net worth or affluent individuals who are divorcing. Mr. Sanchez understands that many couples wish to keep their divorce or child custody matters and financial settlements private. Contact our law office for more information.
For questions or a consultation with Tampa Family Law Attorney Nilo J Sanchez, please call 813-879-4600.
What Types of Relevant Factors Can Effect Asset Division in a Florida Divorce
As per the Florida Statutes, the following relevant factors can be considered when determining an unequal division of assets;
(a) The contribution to the marriage by each spouse, including contributions to the care and education of the children and services as homemaker.
(b) The economic circumstances of the parties.
(c) The duration of the marriage.
(d) Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party.
(e) The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse.
(f) The desirability of retaining any asset, including an interest in a business, corporation, or professional practice, intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party.
(g) The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of, or the incurring of liabilities to, both the marital assets and the non-marital assets of the parties.
(h) The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage, or any other party, when it would be equitable to do so, it is in the best interest of the child or that party, and it is financially feasible for the parties to maintain the residence until the child is emancipated or until exclusive possession is otherwise terminated by a court of competent jurisdiction. In making this determination, the court shall first determine if it would be in the best interest of the dependent child to remain in the marital home; and, if not, whether other equities would be served by giving any other party exclusive use and possession of the marital home.
(i) The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition.
(j) Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
According to the Florida Law, there are some assets and liabilities that are not subject to distribution between parties which are listed below. However, it is wise to consult with a Tampa Divorce Attorney regarding the distribution of assets and liabilities. Hiring a skilled Tampa Bay divorce attorney who has a broad knowledge of Florida’s Equitable Distribution Law is the first step to attaining your goals.
Assets & Liabilities Not Subject to Distribution
Assets and liabilities that are not subject to distribution between the parties are non-marital assets and non-marital and liabilities. Non-marital assets and non-marital liabilities include: Source: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0061/Sections/0061.075.html
1. Assets acquired and liabilities incurred by either party prior to the marriage, and assets acquired and liabilities incurred in exchange for such assets and liabilities;
2. Assets acquired separately by either party by non-interspousal gift, inheritance, and assets acquired in exchange for such assets;
3. All income derived from non-marital assets during the marriage unless the income was treated, used, or relied upon by the parties as a marital assets.
4. Assets and liabilities excluded as marital by a valid agreement between the parties.
5. Any liability incurred by forgery or unauthorized signature of one spouse signing the name of the other spouse. Any such liability shall be a non-marital liability only of the party having committed the forgery.
Burden of Proof – Property Division
As an example, Florida Statutes state that “Real property held by the parties as tenants by the entirety, whether acquired prior to or during the marriage, shall be presumed to be a marital asset. If, in any case, a party makes a claim to the contrary, the burden of proof shall be on the party asserting the claim that the subject property, or some portion thereof, is non-marital.”
A skilled divorce attorney coupled with forensic accountants when needed, can guide you in these challenging areas of asset division. In marriages where alimony will be considered, Florida Law States that; (9)”The court may provide for equitable distribution of the marital assets and liabilities without regard to alimony for either party. After the determination of an equitable distribution of the marital assets and liabilities, the court shall consider whether a judgment for alimony shall be made. (10) To do equity between the parties, the court may, in lieu of or to supplement, facilitate, or effectuate the equitable division of marital assets and liabilities, order a monetary payment in a lump sum or in installments paid over a fixed period of time.