Jacksonville FL Property Division Attorneys
Property Division & Divorce
A highly contested and unavoidable issue in a divorce is property division, or division of assets. For a lot of people, a divorce brings about changes that are hard enough as it is without property and possessions coming into play. Unfortunately, these factors also play a role and have to be addressed.
As an equitable distribution state, Florida equally and fairly divides property acquired during a marriage when a couple files for divorce. An experienced Jacksonville divorce attorney can help you better understand the complexities of the equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities in Florida. For more information to help you make the best decision for your specific situation, please call Farah & Farah at (904) 263-4610.
What is Marital Property in Florida?
Overall, any asset or liability that was obtained during a marriage is treated as marital and prone to distribution. It’s possible for non-marital assets or liabilities to be divided after the divorce as well.
An important thing to keep in mind before diving into property division is that marital property may not necessarily be divided equally – the law calls for property to only be split “fairly” and “equitably.”
According to the Florida Bar, marital property includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Retirement benefits (pensions, 401k plans)
- Business Interests
- Bank Accounts
- Personal Property
- Other things of value
Debts may also fall under property division ranging from the below:
- Car Loans
- Credit Card Accounts
When it comes to debt and divorce during the division of assets, if one spouse is determined to have carelessly spent money and caused a significant amount of debt on his or her own, it is possible for the court to order that the careless spouse pay the total amount of the debt, rather than divide the debt between the spouses. If a debt payment is assigned to your spouse, you may want to remove your name from the account, if such action is feasible.
Factors Examined by the Florida Court
In most circumstances, equitable distribution of property and/or assets is decided by the court before alimony is considered. Among other factors, the court will examine the following:
- What each spouse has contributed to the marriage, which includes improving marital or non-marital assets as well as earning income or playing the role of parent or homemaker.
- How long the marriage lasted.
- Where each spouse stands financially.
- Whether the couple’s minor children, or either spouse, should live in the marital home.
- The extent in which a spouse stopped a career or education during the marriage or provided support to the other spouse’s career or education.
- The debts and liabilities of each spouse.
- Existence of wasted or ruined marital assets on purpose after the divorce or within two years before.
Protecting Your Rights & Property
No matter how resilient a person is, divorce often causes a lot of stress on top of a wide range of emotions. As an individual copes with the personal aspect of a divorce, it can typically be difficult to balance the financial repercussions as well. Although it may be tempting to get the entire divorce process over with, it’s important to protect your rights and be fully aware of the options available to you. The Florida property division lawyers at Farah & Farah are dedicated to helping our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation at (904) 263-4610.