Orlando Property Division Lawyer
In a divorce, what happens to all that property the couple acquired over the course of a lengthy marriage? Will both parties be responsible for the debts contracted by one party during marriage? What happens to the family home? The distribution of marital property is one of the most important aspects to be decided in a divorce. The Orlando property division lawyers at the Donna Hung Law Group can help ensure that your rights and interests are well-represented in the property division.
Florida is an Equitable Distribution State
In a Florida divorce, the court will make an equitable distribution of the marital property, which does not necessarily mean an equal distribution. Although a 50/50 division is initially presumed to be equitable, many factors may change that determination, and the judge is empowered to divide property unequally if convinced that such a distribution would be fair to the parties.
The court has the power to divide all marital assets and liabilities in a divorce. This includes all assets or property acquired through the use of marital funds or marital labor during the marriage. Checking and savings accounts, pensions, 401(k)s, IRAs, vacation homes, stocks and bonds, automobiles, mutual funds, airline miles and more may all be considered marital assets. Likewise, credit card accounts, mortgages, HELOCs, auto loans and more can all be marital debts, regardless of whether only one spouse opened the account or acquired the debt.
Non-marital property is not part of the equitable distribution but is retained by the spouse who owns it. Basically, non-marital assets (and debts) are those that were acquired before marriage, or during marriage by gift or inheritance specifically to one spouse alone. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can also be used to set aside property that might otherwise be marital property and keep it out of the equitable distribution. Non-marital property can also become marital property if it is commingled with marital funds or otherwise used in a way that indicates it is to be shared.
The marital home is typically a large marital asset that must be divided in a divorce. Since a house cannot be physically divided, one solution is to sell the home and divide the proceeds between the parties. Another solution is for one spouse to buy out the other spouse’s interest in the home. Sometimes the court decides it would be equitable to grant one spouse the exclusive use and possession of the home for a period of time without having to buy out the other spouse. This often occurs when it is preferable to allow the children to remain in the family home, along with the parent who has sole or primary parental responsibility.
Florida Equitable Distribution Factors
As you might expect, there are a number of factors set out in the law for a Florida judge to consider when dividing marital property and making an equitable distribution. Some of these factors include:
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage
- The economic circumstances of a spouse
- The duration of the marriage
- Any interruption of a spouse’s career or education caused by the marriage
- If one spouse contributed to the career or education of the other spouse
- Whether an asset should be retained by one party, such as a business interest or professional practice
- If it can be shown that one spouse engaged in the intentional dissipation of marital assets after divorce was filed or anytime in the two years prior to filing
How the Donna Hung Law Group can Help with Property Division
The judge will divide property equally unless convinced that an unequal distribution is equitable. The judge will be guided by the facts and legal arguments made by the parties’ attorneys. Our experienced divorce lawyers will prepare and present a strong case regarding the proposed distribution. Our attorneys are also experienced in the identification and valuation of marital property, which are essential to a fair distribution. Our experience extends to couples with high value assets and estates. We can help with the valuation or appraisal of a business, stocks, real estate, or valuable items of personal property such as jewelry or art. We can also assist in the tracking down of offshore or hidden assets, or in asset tracing to determine whether the income source behind an asset is marital or non-marital in nature.
Seek Experienced, Professional Legal Representation in Your Florida Divorce Property Division
For sound legal advice and professional representation regarding the property division in your Florida divorce, call the Donna Hung Law Group in Orlando at 407-999-0099 to speak with a team of highly-qualified and experienced family law attorneys.