Common Property Distribution Issues
One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is determining how marital property will be distributed between both spouses once their marriage is officially terminated. Unfortunately, because this process tends to be complicated, many fall prey to avoidable errors or issues that could have far-reaching consequences on their financial futures. To ensure that your own financial situation is secure upon divorce, please contact our experienced Fort Lauderdale property division attorney today.
Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that in the event of divorce, a couple’s property must be divided in a fair manner between the two parties. However, the division process can only be undertaken once the parties have properly categorized their assets into marital property and separate property, with the former referring to assets obtained by either spouse during the marriage and the latter referring to assets that were brought into the marriage by either party. Only marital assets must be divided upon divorce, while all separate property can remain in the sole possession of the original owner. For this reason, ensuring that all assets are categorized properly from the outset of divorce proceedings is of the utmost importance in making sure that assets are fairly divided.
Assigning Value to Marital Assets
Once a couple’s assets have been classified as being either marital or nonmarital, they must also be appraised. In most cases, the value of a couple’s property will be based on the current market value of similar items. Determining current market value, however, can be complicated, so most couples are required to employ professional appraisers who can properly assign a monetary value to the asset in question. Opinions from multiple experts may also be necessary, especially if a couple’s assets are particularly diverse. A coin collection, for instance, will require the expertise of someone who is familiar with that particular market, while valuing artwork and antiques could require a separate assessment. Financial assets, in particular, are notorious for being difficult to value and so almost always require the help of a financial professional.
After a couple categorizes and appraises their assets, they will be required to divide that property in an equitable manner. If such an agreement is impossible, however, a court will step in and make a determination on their behalf. When deciding what constitutes a fair division of assets, courts look to a number of factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse’s income, both party’s access to separate property, and whether the couple has children. It is especially important, with so much riding on the distribution of marital assets during divorce, for divorcing couples to retain attorneys who can advocate on their behalf.
Fort Lauderdale Property Division Legal Team
To learn more about avoiding the most common property division-related pitfalls during your own divorce proceedings, please call experienced property division lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591. Initial consultations with our legal team are offered free of charge, so please don’t hesitate to call or contact us online today.