Property Division Attorney In Florida
When spouses divorce, they usually divide what they own according to a settlement agreement or have it divided for them in court. In Florida, the principle of equitable distribution is used by courts to apportion the property, assets and debts that a couple has acquired during a marriage.
Although the word "equitable" sounds like it means equal, it actually means "fair". At trial, it is determined according to legal factors that are at the discretion of a judge. As a result, divorcing parties who take their disagreements to court often have little control over which marital assets are given to whom. Their only assurance is that the value of the marital assets they receive (or marital debts they will be responsible for) will be roughly equal.
Often times, couples are able to agree on the division of their marital property on their own and come to a reasonable distribution of the property between themselves. When this process fails is when couples turn to a qualified attorney or attorneys, or a mediator to help them negotiate a settlement. When couples still can't manage to solve their property division issues outside of court, that is when it is time to ask for a decision either through arbitration or from a judge.
Property Division Attorney Serving Brevard County, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Rockledge, Merritt Island and Titusville
For many years, attorney Daniel J. Freyberg has advised and assisted clients throughout Brevard County, Florida, as well as Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Rockledge, Merritt Island and Titusville in property division cases. He will work hard to provide clarity and peace of mind to clients in Brevard County who are faced with uncertain property division scenarios.
As a former family court officer, family counselor and family law practitioner, with more than 30 years of experience in the court system, he understands how divorces work in the courtroom and at the negotiating table. He is also trained in collaborative law and mediation techniques, which can improve communication and cooperation in even the most contentious divorces.
When appropriate, attorney Freyberg helps his clients to resolve as many of their divorce-related financial issues outside of court, through direct negotiations, collaborative negotiations with an attorney, or through mediation.
As a result, he has helped his divorcing clients to avoid spending thousands of dollars in court costs and attorney fees, while retaining more money for themselves, their families and their futures.
Division of Marital Assets In Florida Divorce Proceedings
In a dissolution of marriage, or divorce, only the assets acquired and debts incurred during the marriage are divided when the couple dissolves the marriage. Marital assets include everything both spouses acquired during the marriage, both individually and jointly.
In Florida, it does not matter in whose name property is titled, or in whose name a bill is addressed, marital property is the shared responsibility of both spouses. A good example of this would be a joint credit card, where both spouses names are on the card. In this case, both spouses are responsible for the credit card debt, even though one may not have done the spending. Similarly, even if a credit card is only in one spouse's name, if the debt was acquired during the marriage, it will generally be considered a marital liability.
When dividing up property in a dissolution proceeding, the courts will also consider how easy the property or asset is to divide. This can be quite complicated when it comes to a joint business venture or a business started up by one spouse. A joint business can be divided fairly evenly based on the level of financial and personal involvement of each spouse. However a singly-owned business, although still considered a marital asset, will typically be awarded to the owner, with the other spouse receiving other property or monies, to compensate for the difference.
In terms of financial assets, Florida law provides that all marital assets include: money and any rights or funds that either spouse accrues during the marriage including retirement funds, pension funds, vested and non-vested benefits, profit-sharing, annuities, deferred compensation and insurance plans or programs. Whenever there is any doubt about accrued benefits that overlap from before and after the marriage, you should consult an experienced attorney to help you sort out which portions are marital property.
The court cannot divide NON-marital property, which is usually property acquired prior to the marriage. Inherited assets can also be non-marital, even if received during the marriage, so long as the assets are kept entirely separate from marital assets. To protect your non-marital assets, always consult an experienced family attorney to advise you of your rights and responsibilities.
Contact Brevard County Property Division Attorney Daniel J. Freyberg
If you are considering a divorce, or have been served with divorce proceedings, you need an experienced and qualified attorney that can help you to achieve the equitable property and financial division results you need to move forward with your life.
To consult with an experienced Florida divorce lawyer who will listen to your concerns and work closely with you to reach the best long-term solutions to your property division concerns, contact attorney Daniel J. Freyberg online, or call 321-459-2994.