Wesley Chapel Property Division Attorney
Many times, the emotional elements of a family law case affect the financial and legal questions. Property division is a good example. For instance, a house is more than an address and a retirement account is more than numbers on a balance sheet. Both these things represent security and well-being. Nevertheless, Florida law is quite clear. All marital property must be divided on an equitable basis.
At HD Law Partners, putting the law into practice is one of the things that we do best. Our knowledge helps us understand all the applicable laws. Our Wesley Chapel property division attorneys take into account both favorable and unfavorable statutes and court precedents. Furthermore, our vast experience in family law helps us convey these things to you in terms that you can understand. In other words, when it comes to a divorce, we speak your language and not some form of Legalese.
Property Division Factors in Florida
Section 61.075 of the Florida Statutes contains a presumption that an equal division of marital property is best. If there is clear evidence that a 50-50 division would be harmful to one spouse, the judge may equitably divide property based on a number of factors, including:
- Agreements Between the Spouses: Florida has adopted the Uniform Marital and Premarital Agreements Act. So, spousal agreements may cover almost any subject other than child support or parenting plans. Moreover, the judge will enforce such agreements unless they are grossly one-sided or one spouse withheld important information.
- Noneconomic Contributions to the Marriage: Some contributions do not come in the form of dollars and cents. In the above examples, one spouse may have kept the house clean and watched the children while the other spouse was at work. Depending on the circumstances, the “homemaker factor” can be immensely huge, essentially inconsequential, or somewhere in between.
- Dissipation (Waste) of Assets: The dissipation rule is often a “back door” which allows the judge to consider marital fault in the property division phase. For example, if Wife spent $10,000 on gifts to a boyfriend, Husband may be entitled to $5,000, or his portion of the community share.
Other factors include the length of the marriage, the desirability of the children to remain in the family home, and “any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.”
Special Property Division Issues in Florida Divorce Cases
The aforementioned factors only apply to marital property, which is anything acquired during the marriage and not by gift. That rule seems quite straightforward, but there are some gray areas. For example, what if Husband fixes up a classic car (non-marital property) with money from his paycheck (marital property)?
In cases like these, the property is commingled. The extent of commingling usually dictates the outcome. To continue with the previous example, assume that Husband just added a few upgrades to the car during the marriage. In that case, Wife may be entitled to reimbursement. But if the car was a pile of junk before Husband used marital funds to fix it up, the car might be transmuted from non-marital into marital property.
Home equity is sometimes a concern as well. If Wife stays in the house with the children, Husband may receive an owelty lien for partition. That way, there is no need to sell the house to divide equity. Husband gets a lien for his current share of equity. Later, when the house is sold, he receives that money from the sale funds.
Team Up with Tenacious Attorneys
The judge’s job is to equitably divide property; our job is to champion your financial and legal interests. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Wesley Chapel, contact HD Law Partners. We have offices in Wesley Chapel, Orlando, and Sarasota.