St. Petersburg Equitable Distribution Attorney
In Florida we have the presumption that marital property distribution should be equal, unless there is justification for an unequal distribution. Should you litigate your divorce, the court will identify all assets and liabilities, classify them as marital or non-marital (non-marital assets are set aside), determine their value, and finally distribute all marital assets and debt to the parties.
When spouses decide to amicably work together to settle their divorce they can decide which assets and debts should be classified as marital or non-marital. They retain their control over the distribution of their marital finances rather than relinquishing this power to the court.
A brief overview of marital and non-marital assets and debts:
Assets: Everything that you and your spouse own including but not limited to; houses, cars, boats, furniture, cash, bank accounts, jewelry, insurance policies, and retirement accounts.
Debt: Everything that you or your spouse owe, including mortgages, car loans, and credit card balances.
Marital Asset: Anything that you and/or your spouse acquired or received during the marriage that is not considered non-marital.
Non-Marital Asset: Anything owned separately by you or your spouse.
Marital Debt: All debt that you and/or your spouse incurred during the marriage.
Non-Marital Debt: All debt that you or your spouse incurred before your marriage or following your separation.
Who Gets the Home in a Florida Divorce?
There are several ways in which a marital home can be distributed during a divorce proceeding. The home may simply be sold and the proceeds divided between the parties. Another option is to sell the home at some later date and divide the proceeds at that time. This is common when, for instance, one spouse wishes to retain occupancy of the home while the minor children complete their schooling. Another common disposition of a marital home is for one spouse to buy out the other spouse’s interest, allowing the buying spouse to retain the home.
Dividing Retirement Accounts in Divorce
In order to divide a marital asset such as a retirement account, we use a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order). This document instructs the retirement plan administrator as to how the asset is to be divided between the parties. There are also instances when the parties agree that each can keep their respective assets (including what would normally be considered the marital portion of the asset.) Often, one party may want to keep all of a certain marital assets. For instance, if one party desires to retain all of their IRA, they could offset the portion that their spouse would be entitled to against other marital asset.
There are many factors that are considered in the disposition of marital assets and debts. This is often a complex legal issue that requires an experienced family law attorney. As with most family law matters, everything is negotiable and may be agreed to without the court intervening and making these decisions for you. Contact Progressive Divorce today to schedule your free confidential consultation to discuss your equitable distribution matters with an experienced St. Petersburg divorce attorney.
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