In every divorce, marital assets are subject to equitable distribution between the parties. However, the idea of losing a particular piece of property, or a specific asset can cause severe fear and anxiety for some. Therefore, if you are wishing to retain certain property after your divorce, bring this to the attention of your Orlando Divorce Attorney to ensure the items are specifically noted in your petitions and settlements.
Under Florida Statute, marital property is subject to equitable distribution. Therefore, your first option to retain a particular asset is to argue the classification of the item as non-marital or separate property. To be deemed separate property the asset may be “acquired prior to the marriage; assets acquired separately by either party by non-interspousal gift, bequest, devise, or descent, and assets acquired in exchange for such assets; all income derived from nonmarital assets during the marriage unless the income was treated, used, or relied upon by the parties as a marital asset.” Fla. Stat. 61.075 Therefore, if you brought certain property, such as a piece of art, jewelry, or real estate into the marriage or received an inheritance or gift during the marriage and kept all separate from the marital funds, these items will be considered non marital property. If non marital property, then a court has no jurisdiction to divide the property and the items will remain in your sole possession.
However, if you are unable to provide evidence that an item is non marital property it will be important to turn your attention to the factors the court considers when determining an equitable distribution. Under Florida Statute 61.075, the court may consider each party’s contribution to the marriage, incomes of the parties, length of marriage, interruption, or contribution of career or education of a spouse, desirability of retaining an asset, contribution of each party to acquiring the income and liabilities of the marriage, retaining the marital home for purposes of minor children, intentional dissipation of marital assets, and any other factors deemed to do equity between the parties. Depending upon the asset you wish to retain will determine the factors you need to focus on. For instance, if you wish to retain the marital home, it will be important to display the evidence of how it is beneficial for the children to remain in the home to provide a consistent environment and allow them to continue with their established education and social environment. For other assets, you may need to prove your personal contributions to the marriage such as child rearing or household management, or financial support. In contrast, you may need to provide evidence of your spouse’s marital misconduct and intentional dissipation of assets. Each item may require a different strategy, requiring in depth discussions with your Orlando Divorce Attorney.
Finally, to improve your chances of retaining a particular asset, it may be prudent to invest in negotiation or mediation to resolve your disputes. Within these alternative dispute methods, you are provided with more control over the terms of your settlement agreement. Therefore, you can personally negotiate the retention of certain assets while providing your spouse with other assets that are less desirable to you. Once an agreement is reached, even if simply regarding the division of property, the property will be deemed non marital before the court
When entering a divorce, each party has specific and unique goals for their divorce. If a goal of your divorce is to retain particular items or property, bring this to the attention of your Orlando Divorce Attorney. They will be able to discuss the evidence necessary to claim this property, the elements associated with division of assets, and settlement options available to you.
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