Dade City Property Division Lawyer
Protecting assets and achieving an equitable distribution of marital property
After a marriage of any length, spouses have jointly acquired both assets and debts, and this marital property must be fairly divided in a divorce. Sometimes the asset picture in a marriage is fairly simple, while other times it is incredibly complex or enormously valuable. Dade City property division lawyer Laurie R. Chane has over 25 years of experience handling divorces involving high-assets or complex property. Whether working collaboratively on a marital settlement agreement or litigating vital legal issues in court, the Law Office of Laurie R. Chane can help you protect and preserve the assets most important to you while achieving a fair and equitable division of property in your Pasco County divorce.
Marital property and separate property under Florida divorce law
It is important at the outset to distinguish between marital property and separate property. The court only divides marital property; each party leaves the marriage with their own separate property, plus any marital property divided between them in a property settlement agreement or divided by the judge.
Marital property includes assets (and debts) acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Marital property can include wages, salary and fringe benefits, retirement and pension accounts, profit sharing, bonuses, commissions, interest on investments and many other types of assets.
Separate property includes assets (and debts) acquired by either spouse before the marriage or after the date of separation, or during the marriage if a gift or inheritance was given to one spouse individually.
Often times property obtained prior to the marriage will still be considered at least partly marital because all or a portion will be paid for with marital funds. Making this determination and valuation requires experience.
Care must be taken to keep separate property separate, if that is the intention. Separate property can be commingled with marital property, either intentionally or carelessly, at which point it may lose its separate character and become marital property. It can be difficult or impossible to disentangle separate property from marital property in these instances.
Proper characterization and valuation are key to fair property division
As part of the divorce process, all assets and liabilities must be identified and properly characterized as marital or separate. Equally important, all marital property must be accurately valued to ensure an equitable division of the marital property. Attorney Laurie Chane has the skills and expertise developed over decades of high asset divorce resolution to locate and trace hidden or commingled assets, as well as to handle complex situations such as business valuations, self-reported income, real property investments, and deferred compensation plans.
Florida courts use these factors to decide on an equitable distribution of marital property
Florida divorce law requires an equitable distribution of marital property. Equitable means fair but not necessarily equal. Courts often strive to make an equal division of property as much as possible, but they will make an unequal division when convinced it is equitable to do so. At the Law Office of Laurie R. Chane, our Pasco County divorce lawyer builds a strong case to guide the court’s decision on what type of property division will be fair.
Judges consider the following factors when dividing marital property:
- Each party’s economic circumstances
- The contributions each party made to the marriage, including being the primary wage earner, managing the household, and raising the children
- Whether one party put off or interrupted his or her education or career for the sake of the marriage
- How much one party contributed to the other party’s education or career
- Whether either party intentionally wasted or dissipated assets after the divorce was filed or within two years before the petition to divorce was filed
Resolve the Property Division in Your Divorce with Your Rights and Interests Intact
For help with the equitable distribution of marital property in your Pasco County divorce, call the Law Office of Laurie R. Chane at 352-567-0055 to share your concerns with a knowledgeable and successful Dade City property division lawyer with over 25 years of legal experience.