REACHING AN EQUITABLE AND JUST PROPERTY DIVISION IN DIVORCE
When two spouses divorce in Florida, they must divide their marital assets and liabilities. You and your spouse may negotiate with each other to determine a division of property and liabilities. If you are unable to agree to a division of their property and liabilities, the court will divide your assets and liabilities.
At KM Welsh, P.A., we have worked with thousands of divorcing spouses to reach fair and equitable property division settlements and judgments. Attorney Kathryn Welsh has over 25 years of experience in representing individuals in the Largo, St Petersburg, and Clearwater areas throughout the divorce process and will bring the highest level of professionalism, experience and compassion to representing you in your property division matters.
Marital vs. Non-marital Property
When dividing property in a divorce, a court will look at whether the property should be considered “marital” or “non-marital”. Non-marital property includes the property that each spouse had prior to the marriage or received individually as a gift or inheritance during the marriage and which was not converted to marital property. Any property obtained during the marriage through labor, whether in the form of income or property purchased with marital income is considered marital property, even if the income was earned by only one spouse. A portion or all of nonmarital property can become marital either by commingling this property with marital property, placing the non-marital property into joint names with your spouse, or increasing the value of the property during the marriage with marital efforts by you or your spouse. Upon divorce, a court will typically allow each spouse to keep his or her separate property while the marital property will be subject to equitable distribution among the spouses.
The Meaning of Equitable Distribution of Property
If you arrive at an agreement regarding the division of your assets and liabilities, the Court will enter a Final Judgment that incorporates the terms of that agreement. Under this circumstance, the Court will not evaluate whether the agreement is equitable and fair. If, you are unable to agree to a division of your property and debts, the Court will divide your marital assets and liabilities. This does not mean that both parties must receive an “equal” amount. The factors that a court will consider in determining an equitable distribution of property include:
* Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage, including childcare and homemaking;
* The economic circumstances of the spouses during the marriage;
* Duration of marriage;
* The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse;
* Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party;
* The desirability of retaining any asset, including an interest in a business corporation, or professional practice, intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party;
* The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage, or any other party, when it would be equitable to do so.
* The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition.
The Value of Working with a Tough but Compassionate Family Law Attorney
Because the determination of marital property and its equitable distribution requires looking at the finances of both spouses, you will want to work with an experienced family law attorney who has the skills to locate and value all relevant assets and to put forth your best arguments as to why you are entitled to your equitable share. At KM Welsh, P.A., we have the experience, tenacity, and compassion to work with you to make sure you obtain all the property to which you are entitled.
Contact KM Welsh, P.A. today
If you are entering into or already in a divorce or separation process involving the division of property, work with the experienced, compassionate legal team at KM Welsh, P.A. to obtain the results you desire. Call our office today at (727) 586-7088 to schedule a consultation.