On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
Division of property can be one of the most contentious aspects of any divorce, as you and your former spouse may have become attached to your assets. You may also each have strong opinions about what you are entitled to, or perhaps, what they are most definitely not entitled to. In Florida, divorce courts use the concept of equitable, rather than equal, distribution when determining the division of assets. This means that, instead of assuming everything will be split 50:50 between you and your former spouse, you will need the expert legal representation of a Fort Lauderdale property division attorney, who is familiar with the intricacies of Florida divorce law, and can ensure you receive a fair settlement.
As one important part of property division involves ascertaining what is marital property and what is separate property, you may be wondering what happens if you buy property, such as a new home, while the divorce is still in progress. Our expert Fort Lauderdale property division attorney explains what you need to know.
How to Protect the New Home You Bought Mid-Divorce
Although you are technically still married, when you buy a new home to move into due to the breakdown of your marriage, it would not be reasonable for your soon-to-be former spouse to have a claim over it. After all, it has been purchased as a direct result of your marriage being deemed irretrievably damaged, so should not be considered marital property. Depending on the relationship you have with your spouse, there are a few potential options available to you.
If you are on good terms with your spouse, you may be able to use a postnuptial agreement to confirm that the house belongs to you, and is not a marital asset. However, if you are using marital funds to buy the property, it may be more difficult to enforce this agreement. Difficult, but not impossible when you work with an outstanding Fort Lauderdale property division attorney.
Conversely, if you are not on speaking terms with your ex-spouse, and are purchasing the house using non-marital funds, providing you are able to prove this is the case, your new property can be titled as your “sole and separate” property.
Whichever arrangement you feel would be most applicable in the case of your divorce, it is strongly recommended that you discuss matters with an expert Fort Lauderdale property division attorney before committing to a property purchase.
Working with a Fort Lauderdale Attorney to Divide Your Marital Assets
Under Florida law, several factors will be taken into consideration when dividing marital assets, namely:
- The length of your marriage
- The overall economic circumstances of both you and your former spouse
- Whether any minor children would benefit from remaining in the marital home
- The contribution made by each spouse to the marriage, in terms of both finances and caretaking
- If one spouse interrupted their career or education to support the career or education of the other
- Debts and other liabilities incurred both jointly and severally during the marriage
- If either spouse deliberately wasted or destroyed marital assets when it became evident that divorce was impending