What Does “Equitable Distribution” Mean?
If you are beginning the divorce process in the state of Florida, you certainly have questions about how the division of assets and liabilities from your marriage will be handled. Florida operates under the laws of “equitable distribution” as the way that spouses divide their property and debts in a divorce. Equitable distribution means “fair” division, but does not necessarily mean “equal” division. While it may be possible for the parties involved in the divorce to come to a mutually-acceptable agreement about how assets and liabilities will be divided, in many cases, when an agreement can’t be reached, a judge will step in. Unfortunately, this often results in one or both of the parties being very dissatisfied. If you are concerned about the financial outcome of your divorce, you should immediately consult a family law attorney from In Law We Trust, P.A.
The Difference Between Marital and Non-Marital Property
The Florida divorce court will classify which property and debts are considered marital and which are non-marital and this determination can dramatically change your financial situation after a divorce. Never just presume that all assets and liabilities will be considered and then split more or less equally. In Law We Trust, P.A. specializes in representing men and is skilled at identifying what assets you have a right to and how much of the liabilities you may be responsible for. Here are some important facts with regard to determining marital and non-marital property and debts and how that classification affects equitable distribution:
Marital property includes all assets and debts that either spouse has acquired during the marriage, unless there is a valid written agreement stating otherwise. It does not matter if the assets or debt are titled jointly or are only in one spouse’s name.
Property is considered separate or “non-marital,” and not subject to division in divorce if one spouse owned it before the marriage, acquired it during marriage as a gift (not including gifts from the other spouse) or acquired it by inheritance.
“Co-mingling” of money can occur when marital funds are deposited into a premarital bank account or by paying a separate or non-marital property mortgage with marital earnings. These are just two examples of creating a situation that would make it very difficult to claim that an asset is separate or non-marital. The ramifications of co-mingling can drastically affect the proceeds of a settlement.
If your spouse opens a credit card account, you are still jointly responsible for the charges on that card; even if your name is not on the card and even if you did not use it.
Negotiating on Your Behalf
As you can see, identifying marital and non-marital assets and then negotiating their division can be very complicated and usually requires the assistance of a skillful and accomplished attorney. Working with an experienced lawyer at In Law We Trust, P.A. is essential in this first and very important step of a divorce. Our skilled council and expertise in the rights of husbands and fathers can prove to be the difference in achieving an equitable settlement that protects your non-marital assets or being burdened with a settlement that leaves you with financial hardships for years to come.
Call The Family Law Experts Men Trust (813) 415-3510
In Law We Trust, P.A. is a premier firm of divorce lawyers representing men in family law proceedings. We are uniquely positioned to assist our clients with the challenges men face in Florida’s court system. Call us today and get the proper representation men need and deserve.