Articles Posted in Disposition of Assets

ed.jpgFlorida is an equitable distribution state, meaning that marital assets are divided on an equitable basis. Or at least that is a court’s objective. Under Florida’s equitable distribution statute, marital property should be equitably divided between divorcing parties. 

Florida Statute § 61.075 requires that a court begin the process of dividing assets and liabilities by setting aside those assets that are defined as “non-marital.”

• typically those assets which either were owned prior to the marriage or inherited during the marriage and not mixed with marital assets,

Thumbnail image for proposal.jpegThere are two situations where you might like to get back the rather expensive ring you bought your bride before your relationship ended: a broken-off engagement or a divorce. The answer to “who gets the ring?” is different in each situation.

Broken-Off Engagement: engagement rings are considered “conditional gifts.” In other words, the gift becomes final upon the condition that your bride eventually marries you. Prior to the vows, however, that condition has not been completed, so you can still revoke the gift. So, if the engagement is called off, you should legally be able to get back the ring.

Divorce: after the vows are said and the marriage license is signed, the condition of that conditional gift has been fulfilled. The ring is now considered a gift. Further, because it is a gift, it is a nonmarital asset for distribution purposes if the two of you ever get divorced. That means that the ring’s value will likely not be split between the two of you during a divorce. Instead, it belongs to your spouse. This was true even in a case (Randall v. Randall) where the ring was the former husband’s family heirloom.

401k.jpgBecause the beneficiary designation was never updated post divorce finalization, the Supreme Court of Florida has ruled a former spouse still entitled to death benefits payable from a retirement plan. Unambiguous language in the Marital Settlement Agreement can avoid a beneficiary designation even where a spouse has neglected to remove their now ex-spouse.

However, some designations can be revised prior to a divorce, but Federal law does not allow the changing of a beneficiary designation on some financial plans without written spousal consent, which is difficult to get when something like a 401(k) is in dispute. This spousal consent rule can create a small hurdle; most beneficiary designations can be changed and should be as soon as possible after a divorce.

An experienced Florida Family Law Attorney should be sure to ask you about beneficiary designations before finalizing a divorce. Be sure to ask the attorney working on your divorce if you are unsure about certain designations. If you are not currently working with an attorney, the most advisable practice is to secure an experienced Jacksonville Family Law Attorney as soon as possible.

theft.jpgIn Florida, prior to the point at which a couple actually “files” for divorce, there is usually a breakdown period of time that the couple has gone through that has led to the actual divorce. This breakdown period can be a matter of only a month or may have been years. In the cases where this has been a longer period, as a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer, I have seen where one party used marital assets for his or her own benefit, outside of the marriage. This is called “intentional dissipation.”

To combat the benefited party receiving a disproportionate amount of marital assets in a divorce proceeding through equitable distribution, the Florida legislature allows the other party to prove the amount the benefited party used during the marriage. This amount is then put towards the amount the benefited party would receive and will count the amount taken by the other party as money the benefited party already received.

If you are considering divorce and have gone through a long breakdown period, contact a highly recommended Jacksonville Divorce Attorney who can track down the amount of marital assets your former spouse used outside your marriage.

asset paperwork.jpgWhen going through a divorce in Jacksonville, Florida, it is so important to hire a Florida divorce lawyer because spouses have to deal with so many issues such as child custody, child support and alimony in Florida. Those issues do not address the division of assets and debts in Florida which the parties will have to address. This division can be especially difficult when a spouse is hiding assets. Many times in a Florida divorce, one spouse is the primary money manager, and the other spouse has very little or nothing to do with the finances in the marriage. But in divorce in Jacksonville, Florida, both spouses have to know about all of the assets and liabilities as this will affect how the parties’ property is divided and determine the amount of alimony to which a spouse may be entitled. You should contact a Florida divorce attorney to ensure proper reporting of all assets and debts so that the final outcome is truly fair and equitable for you.

money.jpgAs a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer the majority of my clients tend to be concerned about what will happen to their marital finances during their divorce proceedings. These clients are rightfully concerned because many individuals going through a divorce take the opportunity to start dissipating marital assets, by either selling items that would likely be equally distributed during the divorce or charging large amounts on credit cards.

However, as I tell all my divorcing clients, with every divorce proceeding in Duval County a Standing Family Law Court Order in entered. Among other things, this Order includes the following provisions:

“Neither party shall sell, transfer, encumber, conceal, assign, remove or in any way dispose of, without the consent of the other party in writing, or without an order of the court, any property, individually or jointly held by parties, except in the usual course of business or for customary and usual household expenses or for reasonable attorney’s fees in connection with this action.”

pay_taxes.jpgIt’s tax season yet again and those who have experienced a divorce in Florida may wonder which party can claim the child on the tax exemption in Florida after a divorce. Florida divorce lawyers in Jacksonville, Florida can create an agreement whereby the parents agree to rotate the tax dependency exemption after a divorce wherein one parent claims the child(ren) in odd numbered years and the other parent gets the exemption in even numbered years. Without an agreement, however, the primary residential parent will get the exemption. Please contact a Jacksonville Florida Divorce Lawyer today to create an agreement to best maximize your dependency tax exemption after divorce.

maze.jpgAs a Jacksonville, Florida divorce and family law attorney, I often wish I had met clients prior to the point of filing for divorce in Jacksonville. There are many things that one can do to better position themselves in a divorce especially if child custody in Florida is involved. One important aspect is estate planning in Florida. There are horror stories that abound where couples are divorcing and are estranged and one of them dies. Under Florida Probate law, the surviving spouse is entitled to certain things including the right to determine where their estranged spouse is to be buried. A Florida divorce lawyer can put you on the path to a better divorce if you contact one with enough time to properly prepare for divorce before filing.

money_trap1.jpgAs a Florida divorce lawyer, clients often ask me if their Florida alimony or Florida child support obligation is dischargeable in a bankruptcy in Florida. The answer is no. Under section 523(a)(5) of the Bankruptcy Code, virtually all obligations and debts stemming from the marriage such as credit card obligations, mortgage loans and car loans are now no longer dischargeable in bankruptcy if the obligation to pay these items stemmed from a divorce in Florida. Now, any and all obligations of whatever kind or nature flowing from a divorce in Florida are nondischargeable in bankruptcy, a change of which Jacksonville Divorce Attorneys and judges should now know.

alimony.jpgPeople contemplating divorce tend to be very curious about the topic of spousal support otherwise known as alimony. As a Jacksonville Beach Family Law Attorney I see divorce cases involving alimony on a regular basis. When first meeting with clients who are interested in the possibility of receiving or having to pay spousal support I advise them of a few key things.

(1) Spousal support is gender neutral: meaning both men and women may be entitled to spousal support.

(2) Unlike child support, there is no strict formula or calculation to determine spousal support.

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