Brown & Rice, PA
2003 Curry Ford Rd
Orlando, FL 32806
The first step in determining how property should be divided in a Florida divorce is a classify property as "marital", "nonmarital" and "both marital and nonmarital" property.
Marital property is generally all of the property acquired by the spouses during the marriage. It generally does not matter whose name is on the property if it was acquired during the marriage. For example, if Husband buys a car during the marriage and it is only titled in Husband's name, the car is still marital property subject to division by the family court. Another common example is the 401(k) or other retirement account. All money added to the account(s) as well as all growth attributed to said money is marital, despite the listed beneficiary or owner of the account.
Our Orlando divorce lawyers ensure that your property rights are protected. Call us at (407) 956-2172 for a free and confidential consultation with one of our divorce attorneys.
Nonmarital property is generally all of the property owned by either spouse prior to the marriage. For example, if Wife owned a vacation property prior to marrying Husband, the vacation property is Wife's nonmarital property unless marital property was used to improve or maintain the property, in which case the property would be both nonmarital and marital property (see below). Some inheritances and gifts directly to one spouse may also be considered nonmarital property.
Property that is both marital and non marital, often called commingled property, is property that was nonmarital (obtained by one spouse prior to the marriage), but was improved or increased in value due to the expenditure of marital property. In such cases, the added value of the property is marital, while the original value of the property may remain nonmarital.
The process of dividing marital property in divorce is called equitable distribution. The law requires the court to divide marital property between the spouses equitably, or fairly, but not necessarily evenly.
The divorce court will consider a number of factors when deciding how to fairly divide property. The basic presumption is that each party should retain half of the value of all of the marital property after the divorce. In some circumstances, the court may divide the marital property unevenly in the interest in fairness. One example is when a spouse spends significant marital assets (even his or her own paycheck) in furtherance of maintaining an extramarital affair. The court may award the other spouse a greater share of the marital property to compensate for the "waste" of marital assets by the other spouse.
Our Orlando Divorce Lawyers will protect your rights in the equitable distribution of your marital assets during divorce. Contact us at (407) 956-2172 to discuss your case.
Brown & Rice, P.A., serves clients in the Orlando, Florida, area, including the cities of Kissimmee, Winter Park, Winter Garden, Winter Springs, Longwood, Sanford, Deltona, Davenport, Lake Buena Vista, Deland, Daytona Beach, Mt. Dora, Ocala, Belleview, St. Cloud, Poinciana, Lake Mary, Apopka, Clermont, Maitland, Windermere, Heathrow, Lake Nona and Oviedo, as well as Orange County, Seminole County, Volusia County, Marion County, Lake County, and Osceola County.