Orlando Property Division Lawyer
Property division can be a tricky and frustrating aspect of divorce, especially if you have acquired significant assets and/or debt over the course of your marriage. And it’s not only the big things, like your home or business, that are difficult to divvy up—smaller household items aren’t necessarily easy to divide either. In some divorce cases, couples can agree on who will get what property, while others seek the help of a mediator to negotiate a settlement. Others won’t be able to resolve property division issues outside of court and will put the matter in a judge’s hands. However your property division needs to be handled, a skilled Orlando divorce attorney from The Law Offices of Sean Smallwood, P.A. can help.
Equitable Distribution of Marital Assets in Florida Divorce
Florida law provides for an “equitable distribution” of marital assets and debts. (Generally, any asset or debt acquired during the marriage is considered “marital” for purposes of property division. To be deemed “nonmarital,” the asset or debt must have been acquired before the marriage and kept separately from the marriage assets.) With equitable distribution, the court begins with the presumption that all marital assets and debts are to be divided equally (50% each); however, the court may distribute the marital estate in a manner it decides is fair and equitable—so, not necessarily equally, and it does not matter how title is held. In making this determination, the court will consider:
- The contributions of each spouse to the marriage, including contributions to the care and education of the children and services as a homemaker
- The economic circumstances of the spouses
- The duration of the marriage
- Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either spouse
- The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse
- The desirability of retaining any asset, including an interest in a business, intact and free from any claim or interference by the other spouse
- The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of, or the incurring of liabilities to, both the marital assets and the nonmarital assets of the spouses
- The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child(ren) of the marriage
- The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the divorce petition or within two years prior to the filing of the petition
While you may work out a property division agreement outside the courtroom—many divorcing couples do—the factors courts use in dividing property can affect the strength of your bargaining position. An experienced Florida divorce attorney with a thorough understanding of Florida property division law can help you present your strongest case for the assets you want to keep.
Speak with a Knowledgeable Orlando Property Division Lawyer
If you need help with property division during the divorce process, please contact The Law Offices of Sean Smallwood, P.A. in Orlando. Protecting your interests and assets now will put you in the best position to make a fresh start when your divorce is final.