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Baca Raton Florida

West Palm Beach Property Division Lawyer

Property Division West Palm Beach

When divorcing in Florida or anywhere else for that matter, you know that you will not be able to leave the marriage with everything. You will have to split up the assets. But what exactly needs to be split, and how much of it?

Florida, like most states, is an equitable distribution state. This means that marital assets are split equitably. But what are marital assets, and what does “equitably” mean?

In Florida, marital property refers to anything acquired during the marriage. It does not matter if the money is in your bank account, or the car is titled in your husband’s name. These assets are split equitably in a divorce. It is a common assumption that titling an asset in your name only will make it yours in a divorce. This is not true.

It is in your and your spouse’s best interests to try to negotiate on how to split the assets. If you cannot agree, then the court will make the decision for you. It’s best to think about what you really want in the divorce and work on achieving that.

What is Equitable Distribution?

In dividing up the marital property, the court is expected to treat each spouse in a fair (but not necessarily in a similar) manner. This means that the court will start with a presumption of a 50/50 split and go from there based on the contributions of each spouse to the marriage.

Marital assets do not include assets obtained before marriage. So, if you come into a marriage with $100,000, that money stays yours as long as you keep it separate from your marital assets. If you commingle it with your marital funds, you risk losing it in a divorce.

The same goes for inheritances. They are also considered separate property, so your spouse generally has no right to it in a divorce. However, the trick is that you have to keep it in your own separate account. Again, once it gets mixed in with the marital funds, it becomes subject to split in a divorce.

Splitting Debts

When you think of property division, you may think of splitting assets. However, debts need to be split up as well. Like assets, debts are classified as either marital or nonmarital, depending on who incurred the debt. Nonmarital debts are the sole responsibility of the owner. Marital debts, on the other hand, may be paid by both parties. In some cases, marital assets may need to be sold to pay off the debts.

Contact Our West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney Today

Property division laws in Florida are meant to promote equity and fairness. The assumption is a 50/50 split, but that could differ.

Property division is just one element of divorce. West Palm Beach divorce attorney Brian K. McMahon, P.A. can guide you through the entire process. We will help you understand your legal rights. Schedule a consultation today. Call our office at (561) 658-1789 or fill out the online form. We serve the West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Port St. Lucie, and South Florida areas.