Being in a divorce is an incredibly emotional situation, often turning the lives of one or both spouses upside down. As harsh as divorces can be, the process still often requires both sides to sit down and try to divide the various assets that have accumulated during the marriage. Divorce can be a challenging and emotional time, but it’s essential to understand how asset division works in Florida and how that will come into play if you are ever in a divorce and want to safeguard your assets.
Robert Sparks Attorneys Can Help You Protect Your Assets
If you’re going through a divorce, it’s crucial to have experienced Florida divorce attorneys on your side. At Robert Sparks Attorneys, we’re serious about helping clients through the incredibly taxing process of divorce. With our expert knowledge of Florida divorce law, we have helped numerous clients protect their assets and achieve the best possible outcome in their divorce cases. We understand the challenges you’re facing and will work tirelessly to protect your rights and interests.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a Tampa divorce attorney. Let us help you navigate this difficult time and emerge with a brighter future.
Florida Divorce Law and Asset Division
Florida divorce law follows the principle of “equitable distribution” when it comes to asset division. This means that marital property are divided in a “fair and equitable” manner between the spouses. While this may seem straightforward, it’s important to understand that equitable distribution does not mean a 50/50 split of the assets. In fact, there are a number of different factors that go into how exactly marital assets are divided up:
- The age of you and your spouse
- The duration of your marriage
- Each spouse’s present and future earning capacity
- The property owned by you and your spouse
- The sources and manner in which property was acquired
- The squandering of any assets
- Family ties and obligations
- Tax consequences on each party
- Any other factors the court deems relevant
Florida law also recognizes a division in marital and non-marital property:
- Marital property – Marital property is generally considered to be any assets, property, or other debts accumulated by you and your spouse during the period of your marriage. These usually include:
- Marital home
- Motor vehicles
- Second homes
- Bank accounts
- Business interests
- Retirement accounts
- 401k accounts
- Credit card charges
- Any other property acquired or debts incurred while they were married
- Non-marital property – Also known as separate property, non-marital property refers to property owned by either spouse before the marriage. In the vast majority of divorces, non-marital property is awarded to the party it originally belonged to. In some instances, non-marital property can become marital property when it becomes intertwined with things like investments or business interests. In these instances, the property will be considered marital property at the time of asset division. Common examples of non-marital property include:
- Separate bank accounts
- Inheritances acquired during the marriage, if held separately
- Gifts to either spouse
- Personal injury proceeds
- Any property acquired after the dissolution of a marriage
Understanding what assets are available in a Florida divorce makes the process of safeguarding and protecting a bit simpler. At the same time, though, the decision on how the assets are divided is ultimately out of your hands. Thus, it’s important to make sure that you’re taking every necessary step to safeguard your assets.
How To Safeguard Your Assets in a Florida Divorce
Safeguarding your assets during a Florida divorce requires careful planning and attention to detail. But more than that, it requires an ability to calmly and rationally negotiate with your spouse about what assets there are and how to best divide them. Some divorces can be especially contentious, so this isn’t always easy.
At the same time, Florida judges not only require both spouses to give a fair accounting of their assets. Even if your divorce is challenging, there are strategies that you can take to safeguard your assets. These can include:
- Get a full accounting of your assets – To ensure that all assets are divided fairly, you’ll need to have a complete and accurate accounting of your assets. This includes bank accounts, investment accounts, real estate, personal property, and any other assets you own.
- Open individual bank accounts – If you have joint bank accounts with your spouse, it’s a good idea to open individual accounts in your name to protect your assets. Be sure to keep detailed records of all financial transactions during the divorce process.
- Keep assets separate – To avoid any confusion about what assets are marital property, it’s best to keep your assets separate from your spouse’s assets. For example, if you receive an inheritance or a gift, keep the funds in a separate account in your name.
- Don’t change or sell your property – In addition to having a proper accounting of your assets, it’s also a good idea to not sell, transfer, or change your property during your divorce. While it may be tempting, it could actually have an adverse affect on your ability to keep your property, as it could be viewed as an attempt to hide or get rid of assets to keep them out of your spouse’s hands.
- Maintain good records – Keep detailed records of all financial transactions during the divorce process, including bank statements, receipts, and other financial documents. This can help you avoid disputes over property division.
- Consider a prenuptial agreement – One way to protect your assets is to plan ahead. If you have a prenuptial agreement, it can help protect your assets in the event of a divorce.
Overall, safeguarding your assets during a Florida divorce requires careful planning and attention to detail. Another way is to work with one of our experienced, skilled divorce attorneys. We can help you with these strategies, and make sure that your assets are protected and that all the marital assets are fairly and equally distributed.
How Can a Florida Divorce Attorney Help With Asset Division?
Asset division can sometimes be the most complicated and contested part of a divorce, especially in Florida. While Florida divorce courts strive for a fair and equitable distribution of assets, that’s not always how things shake out. Even if you take the necessary steps to safeguard your assets, it’s ultimately up to the court to decide how these assets will be divided among you and your spouse. Thus, it’s important to work with one of our experienced divorce attorneys to protect your interests. Among other things, we can help you with the following:
- Understanding the law
- Identifying assets
- Valuing assets
- Negotiating a settlement
- Litigating in court
- Addressing tax implications
Overall, working with our team of experienced Florida divorce attorneys can help ensure that your assets are divided fairly and justly during your divorce. But more than that, we can provide guidance and support throughout the process, while also protecting your rights and interests.
Experienced and Dedicated Florida Divorce Attorneys Can Help You
If you are going through a divorce in Florida, it’s important to protect your rights and interests, especially when it comes to dividing assets. At Robert Sparks Attorneys, our team of experienced Florida divorce attorneys can provide the guidance and support you need to ensure a fair and just distribution of your assets. Every divorce has its own unique circumstances, but with our combination of experience and knowledge of Florida laws and how the court system approaches asset division provides us with the ability to give each client the case-specific approach that they deserve.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to get the help you need. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to make sure you’re treated fairly.