On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
As any property division attorney, in Fort Lauderdale or further afield, can attest to, a division of marital property can be one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce. While emotions are running high and both spouses are coming to terms with the changes in their lives, deciding who owns what can be more complicated than you may expect. In a high net worth divorce, where there is a considerable amount of high-value property to divide, this process can be even tenser. People can easily become very attached to the property, and there can be arguments over who is entitled to what. In Florida, the law dictates that the concept of equitable distribution to determine the division of assets and debts.
In the case of the pending divorce of Rudy Giuliani, this means that there could be a prolonged legal battle over two South Florida properties. After Giuliani’s third wife, Judith, filed for divorce recently, he hinted at some dispute over the $4 million condos, saying that the properties would need to be divided.
Property Division Can Be Less Traumatic with the Services of a Fort Lauderdale Attorney
Aside from extensive legal knowledge and experience, one of the benefits of working with a Fort Lauderdale property division attorney is their lack of emotional attachment to your property and other aspects of your divorce. This means your lawyer will have a more objective perspective on your case and can offer advice based on their legal nous.
The first thing you need to know when contemplating divorce in Florida is that equitable distribution does not necessarily mean equal division. Only with the assistance of a skilled property division attorney can you be certain that the settlement is fair.
To begin, it must be determined which property is separate from the division, and which is considered marital property. In brief, a spouse’s separate property may include:
- Items owned prior to the marriage
- Property acquired through inheritance
- Property acquired through a previous court judgment
- The property which the spouses had previously agreed would remain separate, perhaps through a prenuptial agreement
Divisible assets will include everything that does not fall into these categories, including real estate, art, cars, savings, investments, businesses, and more.
What Factors Are Used When Dividing Property in a Fort Lauderdale Divorce?
When working to divide your marital assets fairly and equitably, your Fort Lauderdale property division attorney will consider various factors, including:
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s overall economic circumstances
- If it is in minor children’s best interests to continue living in their current home
- The contribution each spouse made to the marriage, both financially and otherwise
- If one or both spouses interrupted their career or education during the marriage or contributed to the other’s career or education
- Debts and liabilities accumulated jointly and severally during the marriage
- If either spouse intentionally wasted or destroyed marital assets, either during the marriage or since filing for divorce