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What Qualifies As An Asset During Divorce?


Ending a marriage is not only an emotional process, but also a legal one that involves a lot of complicated issues, like asset division. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of confusion over what qualifies as an asset when it comes to property division in Florida, so we’ve included some information to help clarify what’s fair game and what is off limits when it comes to dividing assets during divorce.

Marital vs Non-Marital Assets 

One of the most important distinctions that divorcing couples should understand is the difference between marital and non-marital assets. Marital assets are those that were acquired during the couple’s marriage, regardless of which spouse actually purchased or received them. Non-marital assets, however, are those that the parties brought into the marriage, or that were received during the marriage, but as an inheritance or gift. Whether an asset is categorized as marital or non-marital is critical, as under Florida law, it is only marital assets that are divisible upon divorce, while non-marital property remains in the sole possession of the original owner.

Types of Assets 

Both marital and non-marital assets can fall under a wide range of categories, including:

  • Real property, like the family home, a vacation property, or real estate that is rented to tenants;
  • Personal property, which can include everything from vehicles and furniture to jewelry and artwork;
  • Financial assets, which includes bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and other investments;
  • Business interests;
  • Retirement benefits, like 401(k) plans and pensions; and
  • Copyrights, patents, royalties and other intellectual property.

Some of these assets are more difficult to place a value on and eventually divide up than others. Many assets, for instance, can be sold and the profits divided equitably, while others may be more personal, meaning that one party wishes to keep them in their entirety. In these cases, the parties will need to negotiate, so that the spouse giving up the asset receives an equitable share in a different property.

Debts and Liabilities 

While they may not technically qualify as an asset, debts and liabilities, like property loans, student loans, and credit card debt are also an important part of the property division process. Like assets, debts and liabilities will be deemed either marital or non-marital and then divided accordingly. How they are divided is critical, as it can dictate who will be responsible for continuing to make payments on those loans even after the divorce is finalized.

Speak with a Fort Lauderdale Property Division Attorney Today 

Navigating the asset division process during divorce requires a thorough understanding of the types of assets that are divisible and the ins and outs of placing a value on, and actually splitting up those assets. Dedicated Florida property division lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. can ensure that your rights and best interests are protected throughout the property division process. To discuss your case with an experienced legal professional, please call our office at 954-945-7591 or reach out to us via online message.


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