Property And Asset Division Considerations
Property and asset division in any divorce, especially high net worth divorces, can be highly contentious. For every person getting divorced, there is a natural predilection feel like almost any order dividing property in unjust. An aggressive Orlando divorce attorney such as Beryl Thompson-McClary, Esq. can help you achieve an equitable distribution of your marital assets.
Florida law presumes that a judge presiding over a divorce divides property equally. Florida’s law endeavors to divide marital property 50-50 unless the judge finds a deviation from the statute is just in the circumstances. A party to the divorce may rebut the presumption of equal distribution by producing relevant evidence of one or more of the following:
- the contributions of each spouse to the marriage, including contributions made by a non-working spouse dedicated to homemaking and child rearing;
- the economic circumstances of the parties;
- the duration of the marriage;
- interruption of the career or education of a spouse during the marriage;
- a spouse’s contribution to the other’s educational or professional opportunities;
- whether maintaining a business asset intact, such as a medical practice, dental practice, or law practice, is appropriate;
- the contribution of each spouse relating to business opportunities, enhancing or encumbering marital and nonmarital assets;
- whether one party should keep the marital home and raise the children in it;
- whether one spouse wasted marital assets within the preceding two years before the divorce action; and
- any other factor the judge considers relevant.
Only marital property is subject to distribution. Florida’s electorate enacted a statute seeking to distinguish the marital property from the non-marital property. Under Florida law, property is defined as real or personal property and any interest in it, as well as anything else that is capable of being owned by a person. Consequently, intellectual property may be in issue, pensions, interests in trusts as a beneficiary in addition to homes, bank accounts, whether vested or not, and other items are also considered property by statute.
One of the most difficult questions encountered in high net worth divorces is distinguishing between non-marital and marital assets. Generally speaking, any property owned before the marriage is not marital property and conversely, any property acquired during the marriage, whether individually or jointly, is marital property. Debts are treated the same way. However, if a spouse commingled non-marital assets within the marital estate and held the property out as marital property, then the property may be considered to be marital property. The increase in the value of a non-marital asset that appreciated during the marriage as a result of one spouse’s efforts or contributions of marital assets or the appreciation in value of the property becomes marital property even if the asset itself remains non-marital property.
Florida law specifically defines non-marital assets. The spouse owning the non-marital property retains the property upon dissolution of the marriage. The non-marital property also includes a bequest that, although received during the marriage, is intended to as a gift to one spouse and not the other, then that bequest is non-marital property. The parties are free to agree, either in contemplation of marriage or subsequent to marriage, what property may be defined as non-marital property in the event the marriage terminates in judicial dissolution. A judge has the discretion to order a spouse to make a monetary payment to the other spouse, payable in a lump sum or installments to ensure an equitable distribution of martial assets.
For A High Level Of Representation In Your High Net Asset Divorce In Orlando
Orlando Litigation Attorney Beryl Thompson-McClary will evaluate all aspects of your case and extent of your assets that allows her to strategize your case for the best resolution possible. To schedule your free consultation with Attorney Beryl Thompson-McClary, call her Orlando, Florida office today at (888) 640-2999.