In a divorce case, only marital assets and debts will be distributed between the parties. It is important early in a case to determine which assets and property a court will consider to be marital property versus non-marital property and simply owning something before you got married does not necessarily mean the item would be considered to be non-marital property in a divorce case. In addition, assets include real estate, vehicles, personal property, bank accounts, retirement accounts, pensions, stocks, bonds, business interests, and other tangible and intangible interests.
Once marital assets and debts are defined, Florida law requires that a court “equitably distribute” these assets and debts. This begins with a presumption that assets and debts will be divided equally. However, a judge can order an unequal distribution based on a list of factors, including:
- the contributions to the marriage by each spouse;
- the parties’ economic circumstances;
- the length of the marriage;
- the education of the parties;
- whether one spouse contributed to the education or career of the other;
- whether one spouse wants to keep any specific asset;
- what each spouse contributed to enhancing or depleting assets and debts;
- whether one spouse wants to retain the marital home as a residence for any dependent child;
- whether a spouse intentionally depleted marital assets; and
- any other factors necessary for equity and justice between the parties.
A Jacksonville divorce lawyer at Cameron Baker & Associates, P.A. can help you properly identify marital and non-marital assets and debts, calculate the appropriate values of such and can help you determine what an equitable division of assets and debts in your case would be. Our goal is to be sure that any settlement offer you are considering is fair and if it isn’t fair, that you fully understand your options. Unlike child support and spousal support, once a court enters a final order regarding assets and debts, the order can not be modified. For more information about dividing marital property, contact one of our Jacksonville divorce attorneys today.
We offer a free, initial half hour consultation either by phone or at the office and will discuss with you your options for proceeding, services and costs. To speak with a Jacksonville divorce attorney or family law lawyer, contact us today at (904) 683-3639.