You live in Florida and you are getting a divorce. You have acquired assets during the marriage that must be distributed between you and your spouse. Here are 4 things to remember about Equitable Distribution of assets:
1. Identification. The assets that will be distributed in divorce must first be identified. If you don’t identify the asset, then it won’t be distributed by the trial judge. Any asset that is substantial must be identified. You need not identify every spoon and fork in the kitchen but you should identify with particularity any substantial asset that must be distributed in the divorce.
2. Classification. Assets are classified as marital, non-marital or partially marital. Generally, assets acquired during the marriage are marital assets. Assets acquired prior to the marriage or by gift or inheritance are generally non marital assets. A non marital asset can have marital aspects to it, for example, if it is commingled with marital assets, or the asset becomes titled jointly, or the value of the asset is enhanced by marital funds or labor. Such assets may lose its non marital nature and become totally or partially marital.
3. Valuation. The asset must be valued at its present fair market value. Cost of the asset is generally insignificant. For example, if you purchased a television set 15 years ago for $100, you can bet that the television set is not worth the $100 you paid for it today. You must determine what that television set is worth to you. If you undervalue the assets, your spouse will ask for the asset with an offset of stated value to you. For example, if the fair market value of the personal property is $5,000 but you value it at $500, then your spouse will ask for the personal property and will ask that you receive a credit for $500. If you over-value the assets, your spouse will ask that you be awarded the assets with an offset of the stated value to the spouse. For example, if the fair market value of the assets are $5,000 but you value it at $50,000, then your spouse will ask for the assets and that you receive a credit for $50,000.
4. Valuation Date. The date of valuation is generally the date of filing the petition for divorce.
This article is for general informational purposes only. This article is not intended as legal advice and does not substitute for the advice of an experienced Family Lawyer. The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be made based on advertising alone. Contact me to provide you with written information about my qualifications. Visit my website at doreenvarela.com for information about me and about my qualifications. Call us at 561-820-0811 to discuss your particular circumstances in confidence.