Property Division Attorneys 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 obtain 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, the pie is going to be smaller!! However, there are many principles to apply designed to preserve and protect assets.
Treece & Treece is uniquely qualified through many years of experience and legal study to analyze your financial concerns, identify your financial exposure and provide insight and guidance into the best strategy to protect your financial interests.
Call us for a consultation (904) 737-1771 at the Family Law Firm of Treece & Treece if you’re considering the allocation and division of assets and debts.
Equitable Division of Assets and Debts in Florida Divorce
The Florida Statutes provide guidelines for the Equitable Division of both property and debt in divorce. The Courts will identify the non-marital properties, those acquired prior to the marriage or obtained by specific gift or inheritance and the marital properties, those assets acquired during the marriage. Further, the Courts will consider how these properties, assets and debts, are treated and interrelate before (if applicable) and during the marriage. From this vantage point, the Courts will determine the marital assets and debts to be divided.
Upon defining these properties, the Court seeks 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.
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.
- Business entities acquired during the marriage
Allocation and Division Frequently Asked Questions
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;
- Undeveloped acreage?
How do we define and categorize the personal property to be divided; such as:
- Furniture and furnishings;
- Equipment and tools;
- Art collections, coins, and jewelry?
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,
- Pension accounts held or transferred from employment.
Martial and non-martial 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;
- 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?
- When and How are the marital assets and debts evaluated for disbursement?
Throughout the divorce process, specifically as it relates to the financial aspects, your legal team at Treece & Treece, is extremely concerned with your ability to secure and/or rebuild a very comfortable level of financial security, including the division and allocation of the marital property and debt. Please call us at (904) 737-1771 for a consultation as soon as possible when considering the allocation and division of assets and debts in order that you proceed with a thorough understanding and ability to identify properly the marital and non-marital assets, debts, and accomplish an appropriate distribution.