Fort Lauderdale Property Division Attorney
If you are going through a contested or uncontested divorce in Florida, property division will need to be agreed upon by both spouses or ruled by the court in charge of your case. At the Fort Lauderdale offices of Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A., we advise clients in all aspects of divorce, including property distribution, and can help you achieve the outcome that is most beneficial to your future, whether your goal is to keep assets that are yours or obtain a part of property that should be shared. Contact our Fort Lauderdale property division attorneys for more information.
Florida Property Distribution Law
In Florida, equitable distribution is the process used to determine the division of assets and debts between divorcing spouses. There is a common misconception that equitable distribution means a completely even split of assets; however, there are many factors that determine how property may be fairly distributed upon divorce.
Before property division occurs, assets and debts must be characterized as separate or marital property. A spouse’s separate property generally consists of items owned before the marriage, or property acquired by inheritance, gift or judgment. Everything else is considered marital property and is subject to equitable distribution, including real estate, automobiles, savings accounts, stocks, bonds, businesses, and even increased earning capacity. Additionally, property that was once separate property can become marital property by being intermingled with marital assets.
Dividing Marital Property
After all of the parties’ assets and debts have been indentified and characterized as separate or marital property, the court must distribute the marital property equitably between the spouses. Florida law provides the following factors for courts to use when dividing marital property:
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s overall economic circumstances
- The desirability of allowing the couple’s minor children, or either spouse, to continue living in the marital home
- Each spouse’s contributions, including improvement of marital or non-marital assets, and contributions to the marriage either as an income-earner or as a parent or homemaker
- Whether either spouse interrupted a career or education during the marriage or contributed to the other spouse’s career or education
- Each spouse’s debts and liabilities
- Whether either spouse intentionally wasted or destroyed marital assets either after the divorce petition or within the two years preceding it
The court will also look at any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements entered into by the spouses, and honor the terms of these agreements in most situations. Once property division has been determined, the court may consider an alimony award if a spouse needs additional support to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage.
Contact Us for Help with Fort Lauderdale Property Distribution during Divorce
If you are facing divorce, you need to protect your property interests going forward. In southeast Florida, contact Fort Lauderdale property division attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. for help securing your financial future.