Fort Lauderdale Division of Assets Lawyers
When a married couple gets divorced, the partners in the marriage will typically try to cooperate in reaching a marriage settlement agreement. In this settlement, one of the things that couples must determine is how they will divide their assets.
If the parties to a divorce cannot agree on how to divide their assets, the court will enter orders designed to reach a “fair and equitable” distribution of the property of the marriage. This does not necessarily mean that the division of the marital property will be equal only equitable (i.e. fair).
If you and your spouse are headed toward divorce, contact the Fort Lauderdale division of assets lawyers of Eric N. Klein & Associates, P.A. at 954-580-8080 to learn how we can help you.
Which Assets Are Divided?
Division of assets specifically refers to the division of marital assets. Generally, marital assets include anything of value that a married couple acquires during the marriage that is not acquired by gift or inheritance. Often, these marital assets include:
- Joint bank accounts
- Homes and automobiles
- Property purchased during marriage
- Other property of value acquired during marriage
Property that either spouse acquired before the couple was married (“separate property”) usually is not included in the division of assets but is retained by the spouse who originally acquired the property. Property division can become complicated because some assets do not fit cleanly into either the separate property or marital property category. This type of property may include a home that was purchased by one spouse prior to marriage but received regular contributions from the income of either spouse during marriage. Income during the marriage is marital property so a marital property interest is created in a separate property asset when income during the marriage is used to maintain or acquire an item of property owned prior to marriage.
Another common complication that occurs in the division of property involves ownership of business interests. If a spouse owns a closely held family business or professional practice, the value of the business must be determined so that the marital property interests can be divided. This valuation process can be difficult and may require the use of forensic accountants. This difficulty may be compounded when only one spouse has intimate knowledge of the daily operation and finances of the business and chooses to hide assets or income of the business. The experienced Fort Lauderdale division of assets attorneys of Eric N. Klein & Associates, P.A. have a background in business transactions and operations and will thoroughly review business and financial documents to help facilitate the division of interests in a family business or professional practice and smoke out this type of unfair and deceptive practice.
It is generally preferable to reach an agreement on property division but sometimes litigation is necessary because of the size of the marital estate, complexities of its asset division issues or unwillingness of a spouse to honestly disclose or cooperate in the division of assets. When an agreement cannot be negotiated, the court may be asked to make orders designed to obtain a fair and equitable property division. Our experienced Fort Lauderdale division of asset attorneys will persuasively advocate for a favorable property division that is in your long-term best interest.
The factors that a Florida divorce court will weigh in reaching a fair and equitable property division include the following:
- Relative financial positions of you and your spouse
- Contributions of each spouse during the marriage including homemaking and child care efforts
- Disruptions in the career, training or education of either spouse
- Length of the marriage
- Contributions of either spouse to property during the marriage
- Importance of maintaining an asset like a business free from potential disruption from the other spouse
- Efforts by any spouse to waste or divert assets
- Any decision to allow the custodial parent to live in family residence to promote the best interest of the child
- Other factors that will lead to a fair and equitable division of property
[Derived from Florida Statutes - Chapters: 61.075 and 61.077]
The factors that a Florida court uses to determine a fair and equitable property division can be complicated to apply to the particular facts of a divorce. An experienced Fort Lauderdale division of assets attorney can help guide you through the process so that you obtain a fair property division that provides a solid financial foundation for your post-marriage life. We have experience handling the full spectrum of property division cases from very simple division of assets cases to very complex property valuation and division issues. Individuals who have questions about what property will or will not be divided in a divorce as well as how it will be divided should discuss their concerns with an experienced Fort Lauderdale division of assets lawyer.
The Fort Lauderdale division of assets attorneys of Eric N. Klein & Associates, P.A. can help you determine what property may be divided when you get divorced. We can also help you evaluate any property division settlement being proposed by your spouse so that you know if you are being treated fairly. If you are considering divorce, contact us today at 954-580-8080 for a free initial consultation.
Our experienced and dedicated division of assets lawyers provide legal representation in Fort Lauderdale and throughout Broward County as well as Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Hollywood, Lauderdale, Margate, Miramar, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, Weston and all surrounding areas including smaller incorporated and unincorporated areas.