On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
While all states have different rules about property division, Florida involves an equitable division of your assets. It all comes down to one thing, property division should be fair, no matter how much you dislike your former spouse.
Some important aspects to consider when dividing property fairly include:
- How long you have been married for?
- Your financial situation
- Educational opportunities
- Financial contributions to the marriage
- Contributions to acquiring or improving marital assets
Some assets are more difficult to divide than others. For instance, when a spouse starts a business during the course of the marriage, it generally becomes a marital asset. However, in most cases, the operating spouse stays with the business. A marital home, on the other hand, can’t be divided yet it can be sold and divided. Courts will also consider how these decisions can affect school-age children.
Marital versus non-marital property
Only assets classified as marital can be divided after a divorce. That includes things acquired during marriage including retirement, pension, and insurance plans. Perhaps a spouse owned a business before getting married and the business increased in value. In such cases, the value of the business prior to marriage is considered separate property.
There is always the possibility of converting the non-marital property into marital property. This is possible through title transfer. In Florida, property held by both parties is considered marital, notwithstanding when the property was acquired. In order to prove a property is separate, a qualified Fort Lauderdale property division attorney must present clear and convincing evidence in court.
Marital and separate property can be combined. Also, pre-martial bank accounts can become marital property as long as both spouses make deposits to it. Likewise, a house becomes marital property when both spouses pay the mortgage or share other expenses related to maintenance, home improvement, etc.
Assessing and dividing
Soon after categorizing marital property, a monetary value is assigned with the help of appraisers. It can be difficult to evaluate some financial assets without the assistance of a professional.
Couples who get along may continue owning property together. For instance, some divorcees may want to keep the family home so the children have a stable place to live or wait until the property increases in value. There are also debts accrued during marriage such as credit card debts, car loans, and mortgages. These can be difficult to figure out on your own if you don’t hire expert advice.
Some tax considerations
There shouldn’t be any tax issues on your next tax return since there are no federal tax complications regarding property transfer during divorce. However, transfers should be done in a timely manner, and it should be related to the dissolution of marriage in order to avoid tax consequences.
If you have questions about how property division process works in Florida, give us a call today.