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Do Assets Acquired After Filing For Divorce Qualify As Marital Assets?

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The answer to this question is more complicated than it seems, as Florida courts generally use three dates when classifying marital assets and debts. The first is the date on which the parties executed a separation agreement, while the second is the date agreed upon by the parties in such an agreement. If, however, neither of these dates apply, judges will use the date that the petition for divorce was actually filed when classifying marital assets and liabilities.

Which of these dates a court uses in categorizing your own marital assets will vary depending on the specific facts of your case, so if you have decided to file for divorce and are concerned about the fate of some recently acquired assets, you should reach out to an experienced Fort Lauderdale property division lawyer for help.

Separation Agreements

The first two dates that courts assess when determining whether an asset qualifies as marital or separate are dependent on the creation of a separation agreement. While Florida law doesn’t specifically authorize legal separation, it does allow couples to enter into separation agreements, or legally binding contracts, that help to resolve property, alimony, and child-related issues. These kinds of separation agreements can help give structure to a distressed marriage while two spouses live apart and prepare to file for divorce. If a couple has entered into one of these agreements, then a court will define what qualifies as marital property based on that deadline. Basically, anything acquired after the execution of the separation agreement would qualify as separate property. If, on the other hand, a couple enters into a separation agreement, but specifies a different date in the contract itself, then that is the date that courts would use in splitting up a couple’s property.

Petition for Divorce

Not all couples try to obtain a legal separation before divorce. Instead, many couples initiate separation proceedings by filing for divorce. In these cases, when the parties don’t have any separation agreements on the books, any assets or debts acquired or incurred after the date the petition was filed will qualify as separate assets and debts. This in turn, means that the asset won’t need to be divided, but will remain in the sole possession of the original owner. This same rule applies to debts, so if one spouse took out a loan the day after filing for divorce, he or she would be responsible for the entirety of that debt and the other party would bear no responsibility for paying it off.

Experienced Florida Property Division Lawyer

Dividing a couple’s assets and debts often turns out to be one of the most difficult aspects of divorce. The situation can become even more complicated, however, if there is disagreement regarding when the couple initiated separation proceedings or the divorce process. To discuss these kinds of issues and how they affect your own divorce, please contact dedicated Florida property division lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. by calling 954-945-7591 today. You can also reach a member of our legal team by submitting an online contact form.

law.cornell.edu/wex/marital_property

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