During a divorce, the distribution of assets and debts among divorcing spouses must be divided separately. The process of distribution is complex such that several factors which include student and credit card debts may affect the division of financial assets of the divorcing spouses. The guidance of an experienced lawyer, who has a good reputation in asset divorces is often necessary to ensure the client’s interest is protected and everything runs smoothly.
Equitable Division of Marital Assets
The state of Florida follows the “equitable distribution” system such that both property and debts should be equally divided fairly to divorcing spouses. However, the term “fairly” does not necessarily mean the division is equal for both spouses when it comes to assets, property, or financial value. Below are some samples of marital assets:
- Home Furnishings
- Personal Items
- Real Property
- RVs, boats, and jet skis
- Stocks and Bonds /Mutual Funds
- Valuable Collections (Art)
- Work Bonuses
Factors Determining the Division of Assets and Debts
1. Contributions (Monetary/Non-monetary) of each spouse
- childcare responsibilities and homemaking
- incurring debts
- in enhancing the career or education of the other spouse
2. Desirability of Retaining
- an asset intact and free from the claim or interference of the other spouse
- marital home for any dependent child of the marriage
3. Duration of the marriage.
4. Financial circumstances of each party.
5. Sacrifices of either spouse to the career or education of the other partner.
6. Misdeeds of the other spouse.
The court may consider all of the above or any other factors that are relevant as to how assets should be divided upon the dissolution of the marriage.
Negotiating Property Settlement Out of Court
A divorced couple has an option to negotiate an agreement between themselves without the judge’s intervention, known as a property settlement agreement. Though practical, it is still best to consult first with a divorce attorney to know more about property settlement agreements before negotiating for a settlement out of court.
Most couples negotiate with the settlement to avoid the hassles, litigation costs, and the time spent on courts and most importantly, they can move on with their lives. If both couples cannot agree, that’s the time to have a court intervene.
Division on the House
If the divorcing couple wants to sell the house, they should include the partition claim in the paperwork. Partition claims state either:
- Selling of the property – proceeds divided equally between the couple, which includes an appraisal to know the real value of the home
- If not for sale – one of the spouses is required to make a monthly mortgage payment to the bank.
This process is complicated when another party like banks gets involved. It is important, however, to work with an experienced lawyer who can give guidance to make sure your best interests are in your favor.
Student Loans in Divorce
Student loans are classified under marital liability and are subject to equitable distribution. Considering it’s a huge amount of money, as similarly like a couple’s mortgage they are 50/50 divided between the divorced couples unless some kind of factor can make the division unequal.
Credit Cards on Divorce
Credit cards and other debts acquired during the marriage are included for equitable distribution. Since credit card debts also fall under marital liability, both couples share the equitable distribution responsibility which includes if only one spouse has the account. When it comes to marital liabilities particularly credit cards, consider consulting a well-experienced divorce lawyer to give you advice on how to handle the process and can give peace of mind.
Receiving More Than 50% of the Marital Assets
Commonly, most Florida courts start the divorce case with a premise of a 50/50 division on marital assets to the divorced couples. As based on Florida law states, “legally sufficient justification for an unequal distribution is given based on the relevant statutory factors.” Foley v. Foley. However, if you feel you are not justified with the Florida court ‘justice’ system, and you want an unequal division of marital assets more in your favor, contact a strong divorce attorney in Florida. As known, obtaining an unequal division of marital assets in the state is very hard without legal assistance.
Contact Florida’s Most Trusted Family Law Firm
Divorce cases in Florida involving the division of assets and debts can be very difficult, challenging time and stressful. Without legal support, the judge may rule the division of marital asset divorce case with equitable division of 50/50. However, if the other spouse may feel ‘unjustified’, consider trusting the best divorce law lawyer in Florida- Atty. Mellany Marquez Kelly.
When it comes to divorce cases involving the division of properties, Attorney Mellany Marquez-Kelly has years of understanding of Florida divorce laws and received favorable results in the resolution of the Family Law cases. Attorney Mellany Marquez-Kelly is an experienced and skilled divorce law attorney in Fort Myers, Fl. and its surrounding areas in Southwest Florida.
- Division Of Assets And Debts
- Post-Divorce Modification Requests