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Asset Distribution Explained
When it comes to getting a divorce in Florida, one issue that commonly arises is that of asset distribution. Which assets are solely yours, and which assets belong to both you and your spouse?
What Are The Different Types of Assets?
A non-marital asset is anything deemed to belong to just one individual. Non-marital assets are not subject to distribution during the dissolution of marriage.
A marital asset, on the other hand, is anything deemed to belong to both the husband and the wife. In the case of divorce, marital assets are fairly and justifiably distributed between both parties by Court.
What is Commingling of Assets?
In almost all marriages, one or both spouses have money and other assets before getting married - a saving account is one example. Throughout the course of their marriage, one or both spouses will work to earn and acquire more money and assets.
When a couple gets divorced, however, money and assets have been commingled, and dividing property can be difficult. In the context of divorce, “commingling”, meaning “to mix together”, occurs when the property one spouse had prior to the marriage is combined or mixed together with the other spouse’s separate property or is combined with the couple’s marital assets.
If you take the money from your checking account, for example, and add it to the joint account between you and your spouse, the money is considered commingled. The only way to claim a certain amount as your separate property is to trace the funds back to you with detailed records such as bank statements, deposit slips, withdrawal slips and the like.
When it comes to the comingling of marital funds, there is a presumption that the initial intention was that of a gift - and the asset then becomes a marital asset.
When Should I Contact a Divorce Attorney Regarding Asset Distribution?
If you and your spouse are getting a divorce, it is essential to determine which assets are non-marital as early as possible, as these can substantially change the nature of the asset distribution. Seek the services of a experienced Florida divorce lawyer as soon as you can.
When the Florida court decides on the issue of child custody and visitation, the gender of the parents is not considered. For example, a mother will not automatically receive custody of the children just because she is the mother. The judge must only consider what is in the best interests of the child. Florida divorce law requires Shared Parental Responsibility. This means that even though the child may live with one parent, the other parent has equal say in raising the child. Each party must be consulted on the education, health, religion, and discipline of the child. And, if the parties cannot agree on these important issues, the judge will make the decisions.
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