Keeping Divorce Costs Down In the State of Florida
The more information and documentation you can provide your attorney at your very first meeting, the easier it will be for your attorney to represent you efficiently in your divorce. When you make things easier for your attorney by providing detailed information at the very beginning, your attorney will be able to streamline the divorce process. Divorce attorneys bill on an hourly basis. This is part one of a two-part series outlining the type of information and documentation that you should be prepared to provide your attorney at your first meeting. If you are unsure about providing something to your attorney, bring it. It is better to provide your attorney with too much information than leave something out.
A List of All Assets, Including Both Marital and Non-Marital Property (With Each Asset Clearly Labeled)
Assets include property that you or your spouse own that has value. Assets can be either real assets or personal property. A complete list of assets includes your pots and pans, your linens, your vacation home or time share, all cars, boats, power tools, etc. Assets are divided between the parties either by agreement or by court order. It is important that your attorney know of all assets of the parties.
Assets are either marital or nonmarital. Marital property is typically any property acquired during the marriage. This property is subject to division. Initially there is a presumption that all property owned by the parties is marital property, subject to division by agreement or by a court. If one of the parties claims an asset is non-marital property they bear the burden of proving that status.
Property can be held to be nonmarital property under a number of circumstances. Property that one spouse acquired prior to the marriage can be nonmarital, but the party making claim must be able to document the timing of the property acquisition. Property can be found to be nonmarital even if it is acquired during the marriage if it is an inheritance or gift to one spouse but not the other. Any increase in the value of nonmarital property is typically also considered nonmarital property. Any existing pre-nuptial agreement can affect the status of property.
The issue of marital or nonmarital property can be complicated, but it is also very important. Bringing any and all property documentation to your first meeting will save you time and money.
- A List of All Debts
First, you will need a comprehensive list of all debts. Debts include not only your mortgage and car loans, but also credit card debt, student loan debt, and past due child support. Next, provide details of all debts for both parties. Documentation is very important. Do not leave out a debt just because it is only in your spouse’s name. All debts should be listed. Debts can also be marital or nonmarital. In addition to identifying all debts, it is very important to document the date or dates the debt was incurred.
With appropriate information and documentation, your attorney can achieve the most favorable division of any debt.
Reach Out to Us for Help
Contact Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio today to discuss your family’s needs. We are eager to assist you with your case.