On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
Property division is one of the most contentious aspects of divorce. In Florida, the court considers a few things in order to determine who gets what in a property settlement. Although both spouses are generally treated fairly that doesn’t mean they will receive their fair share. This is particularly true if you don’t hire a good Fort Lauderdale property division attorney to handle your case. The first step is to determine what constitutes marital property.
These are assets that couples acquire during the course of their marriage. It doesn’t matter which party acquired these assets. For example, if a husband buys an expensive gift for his wife such as a vehicle, it will be considered marital property, even if only his name is on the title and he purchased it with money from his paycheck. In other words, property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property in Florida, even if the asset was kept in only one party’s name.
Calculating marital property when enhanced
When an asset becomes more valuable during the course of your marriage, or because your or your former spouse invested funds to enhance it, the increase in value is considered marital property. The same rule applies to business division. Businesses tend to increase and expand over the years, therefore, the increase in value also qualifies as marital property, even if the business belonged to only one spouse prior to marriage. In fact, any property whether it be a house or any other asset owned by only one spouse before getting married is generally considered marital property
Gifts during the marriage
Gifts during the marriage are also considered marital property, regardless of who bought the gift or where they got the money form. Although it is advantageous for the giver, the recipient can only have half of these assets after a divorce. In order to treat these gifts as nonmarital property, you will have to present clear and convincing evidence.
Any funds that were accumulated during the marriage, whether that includes a retirement or insurance plan are also considered marital property.
This is separate property. In other words, the individual that owns a specific asset can keep them after divorce. The assets acquired before you got married are treated as separate property. The same rule applies for an inheritance or any income from nonmarital assets. Rental property, for example, as long as is kept separate from marital assets, the revenue it generates is appraised as marital property.
Seek the advice of a Fort Lauderdale family law attorney
Once the court determines what’s marital or nonmarital property and makes the final decision regarding property division, it is very difficult to challenge it. This is why you should consider hiring an experienced Fort Lauderdale property division attorney early in a divorce case.