Understanding How An Equitable Division Of Assets Works
Because Florida is an “equitable division” state, your assets will be divided in a way that is deemed “fair” by the courts. This does not mean a 50-50 split down the middle. As the principal of Zachary A. VanDyke, P.A., in Panama City, I will work one-on-one with you so that you understand how asset division works and what to expect in your specific situation.
What Affects How Assets Are Divided?
How assets in a Florida divorce are divided is affected by a number of issues. The length of the marriage will affect who gets what. A short marriage of only a couple of years will result in a different asset division than a marriage of over 10 or 20 years.
What the assets are can affect how they are divided as well. A small business, a car, a home or other real properties, investments, retirement accounts, pensions and the like are divided differently due to the way they are able or not able to appreciate.
What each spouse contributed to the marriage can also affect the way assets are divided, as can the behavior of the spouses during the marriage. For example, if one spouse gambled away a significant portion of the assets, that will likely affect the way the courts divide the assets.
The Difference Between Marital And Separate Assets
Some assets are owned by both spouses and are “marital.” For example, the family home that was bought by the couple is typically considered a marital asset, as are checking and savings accounts. Even if one spouse contributed a large percentage, or all, of the monetary assets to the accounts, these are typically deemed marital assets. This is because the other spouse may have done work (such as care for the home and children or take care of the accounting) that made it possible for the other spouse to work full-time and earn that money.
Other assets may be owned separately. For example, an inheritance, a monetary award from an injury claim, or something one spouse had before the marriage, such as a collection, may be considered a separate asset.
In cases where one spouse has hidden assets in a shell company or off-shore account, a forensic accountant may be called in to fully uncover these assets.
Does Every Couple Have To Go To Court To Divide Assets?
The short answer is no. Couples can work independently or with their lawyers to reach an agreement regarding how to divide their assets out of court. This is called a settlement agreement. Get answers to other common divorce questions.
Get More Answers To Property Division Questions
I know you have specific questions that you need answers to. This is why I offer a low cost initial consultation. Call 850-641-8504 or email me at the firm to set up a time to talk. I offer straightforward advice. I’ve personally been through difficult family law issues, so I understand the complexity of this process. I can also help you avoid any obstacles. Se habla español.