Divison of Assets and Debts Attorney Jacksonville
Bottom Line: Who Gets What?
What Assets and Debts Go Into the “Marital Pot”
to be Distributed??
After so many years of struggling to acquire family assets and prepare ultimately for retirement, the division of assets and liabilities in a divorce action can prove very difficult, highly contentious, and very disappointing, particularly in cases where financial recovery is seemingly impossible. You must accept the fact that when you “split the pie”, inevitably, your share is going to be smaller. However, we have developed proven strategies designed to preserve and protect your assets.
Equitable Division of Assets and Debts In Florida Divorce
What Assets and Debts Go Into the “Marital Pot” to be Distributed?
The Florida Statutes provide guidelines for the Equitable Division of both assets and debts in divorce. The Courts will identify the marital properties (assets acquired during the marriage) and non-marital properties (assets acquired prior to the marriage or by specific gift or inheritance) and determine how they should be divided.
How does the Court distribute the Marital vs. Non-marital Assets?
Upon defining these properties, the Courts seek to divide and distribute the assets and debts fairly and equally. The Florida Statutes dictate that the starting point for this division is approximately equal: 50/50.
However, the Courts can vary from this equal distribution based upon specific relevant factors, such as:
- Intentional dissipation, waste, or depletion of a marital asset by a party;
- The extraordinary contribution of one spouse to an asset;
- The desirability of one spouse maintaining a certain asset; and
- The use and possession of the marital home for the protection of the dependent child.
Factors that Complicate Equitable Distribution
Further, in the Equitable Division of Assets and Debts, it is important to be cognizant of the fact that this division or distribution of the properties can be complicated by various other factors including, but not limited to:
- Pre-marital properties utilized within the marriage;
- Pre-marital properties appreciating in value due to active participation within the marriage;
- Passive appreciation during the marriage;
- Closely-held corporations and business interests with elements of premarital and marital interests; and
- Business entities acquired during the marriage
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Allocation And Division of Assets and Debts
Please carefully review the following questions prior to our first consult to help you define the issues relating to your specific family matter.
Marital and Non-Marital Property:
1) How do we define and categorize the properties to be divided, such as:
- The marital home;
- The second/vacation home;
- Other real estate including rental properties;
- Time share properties; and
- Undeveloped acreage?
2) How do we define and categorize the personal property to be divided, such as:
- Furniture and furnishings;
- Equipment and tools;
- Art collections, jewelry, collectibles; and
- Gifts between Spouses.
3) How do we define and categorize intangible properties to be divided, such as:
- Investment accounts, ie: stocks, bonds, annuities;
- Various retirement plans, types of IRS’s, pensions; and
- Various Pension accounts held or transferred from employment
Marital and Non-Marital Debt:
How do we define and categorize debt to be divided, such as:
- Outstanding mortgages on all properties, held jointly or individually;
- Various other contractual obligations, held jointly or individually; and
- Credit card debt held jointly or individually?
Premarital or Inherited Properties:
- What legal criteria is considered to protect property acquired prior to the marriage?
- What are the legal considerations to protect inherited properties?
- How do the Courts treat various pre-marital and marital trusts?
Appreciation of Properties:
What is the legal criteria the Courts consider in treating properties enhanced by various types of appreciation, passive or active, or a combination?
Financial Lending Companies
How do the financial lending companies generally treat unpaid mortgages, promissory notes, contractual debts held jointly or individually regardless of the Court’s allocation of debt?
If you are seeking an informed analysis of your family situation, advice regarding your legal rights, and guidance resolving these issues, please contact Treece & Treece at (904) 737-1771 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.
We serve clients in Jacksonville, Duval County, Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, St. Augustine, St. John’s County, Fernandina, Yulee, Amelia Island, Nassau County; MacClenny, Glen St. Mary, Sanderson, Taylor, Baker County, Green Cove Springs, Kingsley Lake, Clay County, Starke, and Bradford County.