In Florida, the property and debt issues are typically settled between the parties by a signed Marital Settlement Agreement. The property award is actually ordered and decreed by the Circuit Court within the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.
The court is directed to start with the premise that a distribution of marital property will be equal. This is not always as simple as it sounds, because it can be difficult to separate marital and non-marital property when the value of the non-marital property increased during the marriage. The statute does recognize that there may be situations which justify awarding a greater percentage of one or all assets to one party over the other. Since non-marital property is outside the scope of the statute and is not subject to equitable distribution, let us explain the difference between the two.
Marital Property is property acquired during the marriage. Marital property includes such things as, by way of example, assets acquired jointly by the spouses during the marriage, the enhancement of value of a non-marital asset during the marriage due to the efforts of the other spouse, jointly titled personal property, a home titled as tenants by the entirety, a gift during the marriage from one spouse to another, and a joint bank account.
Non-marital, or separate, property is property that a spouse had before the marriage. An inheritance and sometimes gifts received during the marriage may be considered non-marital property. Non-marital property, or a portion of the value of non-marital property, may be converted to marital property when a spouse contributes to an increase in its value or helped make payments on the property during the marriage.
Once a court has determined what is non-marital, or a spouse’s separate property, the court will then determine how to distribute the marital property. Equitable means fair and not 50/50.
At. D’Lugo and DeFlora, P.A. we take sides, YOURS. Our Osceola County based firm is always prepared to work in a cooperative and amicable manner to obtain the most beneficial and appropriate outcome in a case. The commitment to our clients is to work towards purposeful resolutions and to do so with minimum distress and maximum value. That is extremely important and sensitive in Family Law cases.
We are here to listen and advise. Call 407-870-5551 for a consultation. We’re here to help!
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