If you are going through a divorce, you may have questions about the distribution of your property. Determining how to equitably distribute assets acquired during your marriage can be complicated. Our Miramar complex property division lawyers are well versed in Florida’s equitable distribution statute and could develop a plan to address your marital assets. Allow our seasoned attorneys to guide you through this legal process.
Florida is an equitable distribution state, and judges must divide marital property and debts fairly. While many spouses assume this means a 50/50 split, that is not always the case. In some divorces involving complex property, the division may be close to equal or slightly in favor of one spouse.
To reach an equitable distribution, judges consider several factors. Pursuant to Florida Statute §61.075, some of these considerations include:
Analyzing these factors will help a judge determine how to allocate the couple’s assets. A practiced equitable distribution attorney could explain how a court might apply these factors in a case involving complex assets.
Complex property typically includes assets that are difficult to value, commingled with other premarital or non-marital property, or are not easily divisible between the spouses. Particular care must be taken when managing these assets in a divorce.
In many divorces, one or both spouses have accumulated retirement benefits. Each spouse’s marital share depends in part on when the couple wed. A fair division of retirement plans can be challenging if one spouse contributed substantially to their retirement before the marriage.
Fluctuating real estate markets can make selling or transferring a family home more challenging. Income-producing property like commercial office buildings or tenant-occupied rental properties are also excellent examples of complex property. Not only must the property itself be valued and the net equity divided, but the rent may also be considered income to a spouse who chooses to retain the property in a divorce.
While some stock options are granted to an employee based on past job performance, others are predicated on future services and how long the employee stays with the company. Therefore, it can be challenging to determine which portion of the options are marital and the value only those marital options.
Managing stock options is further complicated because they might have minimal value when initially issued but substantially increase in value if the company grows and becomes more profitable.
When one spouse owns a business, the other spouse may have a financial interest in it even if they did not work in the organization or contribute to its acquisition. Determining the extent of that interest can be tricky, particularly if the owner spouse used some non-marital funds to start the business. Additionally, when dividing the business for divorce purposes, the couple may have to consider co-ownership, or one may need to buy out the other’s interest.
Working through complex property issues without a lawyer could result in unfair asset distribution. A capable equitable distribution attorney familiar with complex cases could hire experienced experts in business valuation, forensic accounting, and taxes to ensure that the couple’s assets are handled correctly.
Going through a divorce is difficult, and it can be even more so when complex property such as businesses or professional licenses are at stake. Proper asset valuation, stricter tax consequences, and the division of complicated business interests are some of the unique considerations a divorcing couple faces when they hold complex assets.
If you and your spouse own significant assets, consider retaining an experienced Miramar complex property division lawyer who understands the unique challenges that can arise in these cases. A respected member of our legal team could work with you to determine the value of your marital estate and negotiate an equitable distribution of property.