Get Your Fair Share Of Marital Assets In A Florida Divorce
During Florida divorce proceedings, a major issue that needs to be resolved concerns dividing property, assets, and debts accumulated over the course of your married life. Whether you and your spouse come to your own agreement or require a judge to decide these matters, making a thorough list of any property or financial accounts and understanding how Florida property division laws work is essential to ensuring you get the settlement you are entitled to.
Florida Marital Property Division
The amount you get in your marital property division is important as it has the potential to significantly impact your financial security, both after your divorce and in the years to come. Under Section 61.075 of the Florida Statutes, property is divided on an equitable basis, which means rather than splitting everything 50/50, property is awarded based on circumstances which existed during your marriage. These include:
- Each spouse’s income and the amount each contributed to the marriage and to acquiring property;
- Any educational or career sacrifices either party made in supporting their spouse or any children of the marriage;
- Any actions taken by either spouse that may have led to the property being lost, damaged, or destroyed.
Grounds for divorce, such as adultery, addiction, or other compulsive behaviors, are not applicable in granting a divorce, but could come into play during divorce proceedings. If you can show your spouse added to your debts by gambling, spent extravagant amounts on an affair, or gave money and property to family members prior to filing for divorce as a way of keeping these assets from you, you may be entitled to a greater share in your divorce settlement.
Making A Complete Inventory of Marital Assets and Property
The best time to go through and make an inventory of your assets is generally prior to any separation and before filing for divorce. In addition to items in your home, garage, or in storage units, you should carefully comb through financial accounts and statements, looking for hidden assets or income you might have overlooked. In addition to items such as homes, cars, furnishings, and checking or savings accounts, other items to consider include:
- Vacation properties, time shares, and country club memberships;
- Collectible items, such as books, coins, or baseball card collections, which could be worth more money than they appear;
- Any jewelry, furs, or other expensive items you may have given each other as gifts;
- Antiques, such as furniture and paintings, which may have accumulated in value since being purchased.
When doing an inventory of financial accounts, you want to include any stocks or shares in business, as well as pensions and retirement benefits. The Huffington Post advises that a common place where hidden sources of income, assets, or unexplained losses are revealed is in current and prior year tax returns.
Reach Out to Us for Help Today
For guidance on uncovering assets and getting the maximum amount you are entitled to during Florida divorce proceedings, call or contact Hancock & Associates, P.A. online. We provide aggressive, caring legal representation to help ensure your rights are protected. Request a free consultation with our estate planning attorneys in our Orlando or Tampa office today.