When entering into a divorce, while separating from your marriage, you may also have to separate from some of your personal possessions. You may find there to be certain items you wish to keep and bring with you into your new life. While some assets may be more important than others, there are certain steps you may be able to take in order to protect the assets you desire to have. Your Orlando Divorce Attorney will be able to look at your assets and help you to understand which ones you will be legally entitled to keep.
The first step to establish which items you may be entitled to is to distinguish if the property is marital or separate property. Property that is deemed to be marital is subject to distribution between the parties, while separate or nonmarital property is solely the possession of the spouse who retains title to it. Defining marital property can become a complicated process. Property can be found to be marital in many different instances. Florida statute provides assets that are acquired during the marriage, whether individually or jointly are marital. (61.075(a)(1)) This includes vehicles, paintings, homes or any other physical property. Any item bought during the course of the marriage is deemed to be marital and subject to distribution. Further, an asset that was non marital, or acquired prior to marriage may become marital if the asset appreciated in value from the efforts of either party during the marriage. (61.075(a)(2)). Also considered marital assets are gifts between spouses, and the funds accrued during the marriage in any retirement, pension, profit sharing, annuity, insurance plans, or deferred compensation. (61.075(e)). In contrast, nonmarital assets or separate property is acquired before a marriage, and assets acquired separately by gift, bequest, or devise. Finally, property may be excluded and deemed nonmarital if done by a written premarital or postnuptial agreement. If you have property that may be questionable as to the marital vs nonmarital distinction, bring this to the attention of your Orlando Divorce Attorney.
The next step will be gathering the list of property you have obtained prior to and during your marriage. This list will be evidenced in the financial affidavit you file with the court. After you have this comprehensive list, it is imperative to gather evidence to present to the court that will conclude in the distinction of marital vs non marital property. Such evidence can come in the form of deeds, wills, bank account information, photographs etc. It is important to gather as much evidence as possible to provide the court with an accurate description of the property in question. Further, if you have any prenuptial or post nuptial agreements, ensure these documents are given to your attorney. These documents will likely note the category that some property may fall into. Before removing any items from your spouse’s possession ensure you are the rightful owner and discuss such options with your attorney. It is important to know if your property is separate or marital and such distinctions can make your divorce a complicated endeavor.
If facing a divorce in Florida, you want to ensure that your assets are protected. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney can lead you down the right path as your marriage comes to an end.
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