When you decide to end your marriage, your marital assets and liabilities must be identified and divided. Asset division is one of the more complicated issues in any divorce. This is where negotiations often get stuck, and it may be weeks before your Boca Raton divorce lawyer and your spouse’s attorneys are able to come to any kind of settlement.
Under Florida law, the court begins with the presumption that assets and liabilities should be divided equitably between the parties and without regard to fault. However, “equitably” does not necessarily mean equally. Dividing assets and debts during a divorce in Florida can be more complicated and confusing than many people realize. You need an experienced Boca Raton asset division lawyer with specialized knowledge and considerable expertise in the division of assets and liabilities.
SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE AND CONSIDERABLE EXPERTISE
Because Florida divorce law adheres to the principle of “equitable distribution” rather than the principle of “community property” (which requires everything acquired in a marriage to be split evenly), complications and questions frequently arise in the division of marital property. One spouse may allege that he or she is entitled to receive more than half of the marital assets or that the other spouse should be responsible for more than half of the marital liabilities. Divorcing spouses may also disagree on what items are marital and non-marital assets. You need a divorce attorney who is an expert in the equitable distribution of assets and liabilities to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive a fair and just share of the marital assets. Tina L. Lewert, Esquire, is an experienced Boca Raton family law and divorce attorney who is also a Florida Board Certified Specialist in Marital and Family Law.
FACTORS THAT ARE CONSIDERED IN ASSET DIVISION
In any divorce but especially in a disputed divorce, usually one of the most challenging issues that must be resolved is the division and distribution of marital property and assets. With the help of an experienced Boca Raton divorce attorney, you can make certain the process and the outcome are as fair as possible.
The assets in your marriage could include both marital assets as well as non-marital assets. Debts are also divided as marital and non-marital. Marital assets or debts are any assets or debts that you acquired, during the time that you were married. These are considered marital assets or debts, and are subject to distribution. During a divorce, the court determines what the marital property is and assesses it to establish its value. The court then decides how best to distribute that property and assets equitably. If spouses can arrive at their own agreement, in most cases, the court will approve it.
Further, you may have separate assets that you brought into the marriage, and these are considered non-marital assets. These therefore, will not be up for distribution, and will be awarded to only one person. It’s therefore important for you to clearly define your separate assets.
The precise way that assets and property are divided will depend on the divorcing spouses and their unique circumstances. The court may consider a number of factors during division of assets. These factors include your contribution to the marriage and your spouse’s contribution to the marriage, how long the marriage has lasted, your financial circumstances as well as your spouse’s financial circumstances.
In most cases, retirement accounts and pensions will be divided between the parties as marital assets, but the entire value of a plan or pension is not necessarily marital property subject to division. Only the part of the plan that was earned during the marriage may be divided and distributed.
For more information about how a court will divide assets or debts in your case, speak to a Boca Raton divorce lawyer as soon as possible.
CAN ADULTERY AFFECT PROPERTY DIVISION?
Florida is a no-fault divorce state, and under its no-fault divorce laws, spousal infidelity will not have any impact on child custody, alimony, property division or any other aspects of the divorce. Florida’s divorce laws also include equitable distribution laws which require that all of the marital assets, as well as liabilities, be evenly divided between the spouses. However, there may be exceptions to the rule.
If your spouse was involved in an adulterous affair, and during this affair, wasted your marital assets in buying gifts for his or her paramour, such behavior may be considered by the court at the time of determining asset division.
If your spouse splurged on lavish or extravagant vacations, paid rent for an apartment for the paramour, bought fancy dinners, and spa trips, and made all kinds of other expensive purchases using the marital assets, then the court might decide that your marital assets were wasted. The court will take all of these purchases into consideration to ensure that you are compensated for these losses.
If your spouse cheated on you, talk to a Boca Raton family lawyer to understand whether this will have any impact on your divorce settlement. The infidelity by itself may not be a factor, but the court may consider any encroachment on your marital assets, or on your financial well-being, while making a decision on division of assets, alimony, or other aspects of the divorce settlement.
WE UNDERSTAND AND PROTECT YOUR INTERESTS
Many couples can settle the questions of property and debt distribution outside of the courtroom. When divorcing spouses fail to reach an agreement and the court must step in to identify, classify, and divide the couple’s assets and liabilities, you need an aggressive Boca Raton asset division lawyer who understands your interests and acts to protect them. At Lewert Law, we can explain your options, protect your rights, and help you take the appropriate legal steps toward a brighter future for yourself and your children. We invite you to schedule an appointment with an experienced Boca Raton asset division lawyer by phone at 561-220-0123 or by e-mail through this website to discuss your needs, options, and legal rights as quickly as possible.