high asset divorce in Florida

Divorce can be a stressful and frightening time, it is the end of a marriage. There is a lot at stake in the outcome. This is especially true for a high asset divorce in Florida. There are unique challenges to a divorce when the parties involved have a substantial amount of assets and/ or high salary. In cases such as these, it is important to hire an attorney who knows the law and can understand the complex financial investments you may have. Additionally, you will want an attorney who has a good reputation with expert witnesses that can be used in your case, such as forensic accountants, auditors, appraisers, social investigators, and guardian ad litems. If you need assistance with a divorce matter contact us to speak with a high asset divorce attorney in Tampa.

Equitable Distribution for High Asset Divorce in Florida

Under Florida divorce law, when a couple gets a divorce the law will require an “equitable distribution” of the martial assets and liabilities. See Florida divorce law 61.075. The court will divide the marital assets and liabilities 50/50 between the couple unless there are factors that would make an equal split inequitable.

The first step in reviewing a case to determine the distribution of assets is to classify each asset and debt as either marital or separate property. Only marital property/ debt is subject to equitable distribution by a judge; separate property will remain the property of the spouse who owns it. Normally, this is a straightforward process; however, it can be very complex in a high asset divorce in Florida. Therefore, it is crucial to hire a divorce  attorney in Tampa who is well versed in how a high asset divorce in Florida works and can aggressively represent your interests.

Alimony in a High Asset Divorce in Florida

Alimony, which is also frequently referred to as maintenance or spousal support is payment from one ex-spouse to the other. The fundamental principal guiding an award of alimony is to alleviate the disparity in financial resources of the two parties. However, disparity in financial resources alone is not enough to justify an award for alimony. See Segall v. Segall. Instead, Florida family law courts look at one spouse’s ability to pay alimony vs the other spouse’s need for alimony. See Canakaris v. Canakaris. There is no standard formula to calculate alimony for a high asset divorce in Florida. The high asset divorce attorney you hire can make a big difference on whether or not alimony is awarded.

Child Custody in a High Asset Divorce in Florida

In a divorce case where the couple shares minor children the law will require the parents to submit a parenting plan for court approval. The parenting plan outlines how the parents will share the  responsibilities and decision-making authority for the children. The parenting plan, at a minimum, must describe how the parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the child. It will also specify the time children will spend with each parent, designate who will be responsible for any and all forms of health care, school-related matters, and other activities. It will also include the methods and technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the child.

If the two parents are unable to agree on the terms of the parenting plan the judge will step in and decide the terms for them. In cases such as these, it is vital to hire an attorney that can aggressively represent your interests. It is very difficult to change a parenting plan after it has been issued by a judge. You want to make sure you are happy with the parenting plan, as you may not be able to modify it in the future.

High Asset Divorce Law Firm in Tampa

A skilled divorce lawyer can make a big difference in a high asset divorce case. If you are contemplating filing for divorce or are already engaged in litigation call us to today to speak with a high asset divorce lawyer in Tampa. We have a lot of experience with complex financial investments and have a good rapport with many forensic accountants, auditors, appraisers, social investigators, and guardian ad litems. If you would like to speak with a divorce lawyer at our firm call us today at 800 990 7763. We are available to answer your call 24/7.

What Happens to Assets When Filing Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy clients commonly ask us what happens to assets when filing bankruptcy. When you file bankruptcy, you will hear the phrase “property of the estate” a lot.  This means that everything you have a legal or equitable interest in as of the date you file your petition will belong to the bankruptcy estate, which is administered by your assigned trustee.  See U.S. v. Whiting Pools. If you have assets that are property of the estate, you run the risk of being forced to liquidate the assets in Chapter 7. Therefore, you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney before taking legal action. Bankruptcy can be very helpful but it requires careful planning and knowledge of bankruptcy law. A bankruptcy attorney in Tampa can help you get the most relief possible while protecting your assts.

What Happens to Assets When Filing Bankruptcy – Equitable Interest

What happens to assets when filing bankruptcy if you do not possess the asset? Even if you do not physically possess a piece of property that you own at the time you file your petition (For example, your sister uses a vehicle that you own outright and you never drive it), that asset may still be property of the estate, even though you do not physically have it any longer.  Another example of something you may have a legal or equitable interest in as of the date you file your petition, is if you work pre-petition (meaning before you file bankruptcy), and you earn that income post-petition (after you file your petition), that income is property of the estate and belongs to the trustee because you had legal and equitable rights to that income prior to filing your petition.

Property of the Estate

Determining which assets may be considered property of the estate in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case requires careful consideration. It is highly recommended to consult with a  bankruptcy attorney in Tampa before taking action. Failure to properly plan for your bankruptcy may have devastating consequences. For instance, if you were to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, everything you purchase post-petition will be property of the estate because the whole point of Chapter 13 is to bring in post-petition assets to help reorganize and repay your debt.

In either a Chapter 7 or 13, if you inherit money within 6 months after filing your bankruptcy petition, that money becomes property of the estate as well and you may not have a right to keep it.  However, there are several items that never become property of the bankruptcy estate and you get to keep.  These items include: funds in an education individual retirement account, no later than 365 days before the filing of your petition; employee benefit plans; health insurance plans regulated by state law; any interest you may have as a lessee under a lease of nonresidential property; deferred compensation plans; and tax-deferred annuity.

Also, if you work post-petition and earn income post-petition, that income you earned is not property of the estate; you get to keep it.  See bankruptcy law 11 USC 541. For more information on what happens to assets when filing bankruptcy contact a bankruptcy law firm in your area.

Bankruptcy Law Firm in Tampa

If you are having a difficult time meeting your financial obligations Florida Law Advisers, P.A. may be able to help. Florida Law Advisers, P.A. is a customer service based law firm committed to  providing personalized attention and dedicated legal counsel. Our Tampa bankruptcy lawyers have years of experience helping people just like you solve their financial problems and obtain a fresh start. For a free, confidential initial consultation contact us today at 800 990 7763 or complete the free case review inquiry on our website.

How to Protect Assets From Bankruptcy

If planning to file for bankruptcy or think bankruptcy may be an option in the future, it is important to speak with a bankruptcy as soon as possible to learn how to protect assets from Bankruptcy. There are many pitfalls people can find themselves in when filing for bankruptcy without first consulting with a Tampa bankruptcy lawyer. For instance, when preparing to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy there may be the temptation to transfer ownership of certain possessions to protect them. However, transfer of title won’t necessarily protect assets from the reach of the bankruptcy court and can result in devastating consequences. Therefore, it is highly recommended to consult with a Tampa bankruptcy lawyer for assistance with how to protect assets from bankruptcy before you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy

How to Protect Assets From Bankruptcy Without Concealing Assets

Often, debtors will assume the answer for how to protect assets from bankruptcy is to hide their assets. Obviously, this is not recommended and is a violation of bankruptcy law. In fact, one of the most common forms of fraud associated with bankruptcy is the concealment of assets. This includes transferring title of property and other assets to third parties. See Bankruptcy Law 11 USC 548.

The amount of time a court can look back at transferred property, to consider such property for fraud during a bankruptcy case varies. This is one of the many reasons why it is important to consult with a bankruptcy attorney in Tampa if you believe bankruptcy may be in your future. The best method for how to protect assets from bankruptcy will vary from case-to-case. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa can help you put together a plan to legally protect your assets from bankruptcy without the risk of engaging in fraud.

How to Protect Assets From Bankruptcy Without Fraudulent Transfers

Fraudulent transfers or conveyances take place when property or title is transferred to a third party with the intent to hinder, delay, or defraud present and future creditors. Moreover, under bankruptcy law, even innocent transfers without the intent to defraud creditors can have devastating consequences. Thus, for many, engaging in transfers of property is the the solution for how to protect assets from bankruptcy.

An example of fraudulent transfers can be found in Jackson v. Jackson  In the Jackson case, the bankruptcy court ruled that even though there was no intentional fraud, the fact that the debtor received no value for the transfer, and it left the debtor with little capital to continue his business the transfer was fraudulent under bankruptcy law. Other common examples of fraudulent transfers can include changing title on a car from one spouse’s name to the other spouse or to their children.

How to Protect Assets From Bankruptcy by Using Exemptions

By consulting with a bankruptcy attorney prior to filing, a debtor can learn how to protect assets in bankruptcy without having to engage in fraudulent transfers. Typically, the best solution for how to protect assets from bankruptcy is to take advantage of bankruptcy exemptions. There are many exemptions under Florida Law to protect assets during bankruptcy. These include homestead, vehicle, and personal property.  See Florida Homestead Law. For a complete list of assets that may be exempt contact a bankruptcy law firm in Tampa for advice on your specific case.

Bankruptcy Law Firm in Tampa

At Florida Law Advisers, we understand filing for bankruptcy can be a very confusing and intimidating process.  That is why we work so hard to make the process as easy as possible for our clients. When you hire Florida Law Advisers, P.A., you get an experienced Tampa bankruptcy attorney by your side every step of the way. We will help ensure your rights are protected, keep you well-informed, and help you receive the most benefits bankruptcy can offer. To schedule a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney in Tampa call us today at 800 990 7763.

how to divide marital assets

In Florida the division of property and debts during a divorce is called “Equitable Distribution.”  Thus, in a Florida divorce case, the Judge will need to determine how to divide marital assets. Typically, the first step in the process is to determine whether either party has separate or “non-marital” property, which is not subject to equitable distribution. Property is considered to be non-marital if one spouse owned it before marriage, acquired it during marriage as a gift (not including gifts from the other spouse) or by inheritance. Additional common non-marital assets include assets defined as a non-marital in a signed agreement between the parties and income from separate property which has not been commingled.

Classifying property as marital or non-marital is often not as straightforward as it seems and can be complex.  If you need assistance with how to divide marital assets in a Florida divorce contact a Tampa divorce lawyer for counsel. Many divorce law firms in Tampa will offer a free initial consultation to address matters such as these.

How to Divide Marital Assets Under Florida Divorce Law 61.075

Florida Divorce Law 61.075 governs a court’s determination of what is marital and non-marital property and therefore how to divide marital assets.  Some examples of marital assets include the following: real property held as tenants by the entirety; inter-spousal gifts, retirement benefits, assets acquired during the marriage, and enhancement in value and appreciation of non-marital assets.  It is important to keep in mind, marital liabilities are also subject to equitable distribution in a divorce. Therefore, a credit card balance incurred during the marriage may be classified as marital property.

How to Divide Marital Assets with an Unequal Distribution

Generally, the judge in a Florida divorce case will start with the premise of dividing marital assets 50/50 between the two parties. In Florida, the law requires that a court equally distribute a marital asset unless a “legally sufficient justification for an unequal distribution is given based on the relevant statutory factors.” Foley v. Foley, 19 So. 3d 1031, 1032 (Fla. 5th DCA 2009). For help with how to unequally divide marital assets contact a divorce attorney in Tampa. Obtaining an unequal distribution of a marital asset in Florida can be very difficult without legal counsel.

These relevant statutory factors under Florida Statute 61.075 include the following:

(a) The contribution to the marriage by each spouse

(b) The economic circumstances of the parties.

(c) The duration of the marriage.

(d) Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party.

(e) The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse.

(f) The desirability of retaining any asset, including an interest in a business, corporation, or professional practice, intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party.

(g) The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of, or the incurring of liabilities to, both the marital assets and the nonmarital assets of the parties.

(h) The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage.

(i) The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition.

Tampa Divorce Law Firm

If you are contemplating filing for divorce and are concerned about keeping your fair share of the assets call us today to speak with divorce attorney in Tampa. Our divorce lawyers have years of experience helping people with their divorce and child custody disputes. Every divorce is different, and our vast experience allows us to cater our services to each client’s individual situation. Whether a couple mutually agrees to the terms of a divorce or are engaged in a fierce battle for their property and child custody rights, Florida Law Advisers, P.A. can help. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and offer a free initial consultation. Call us today at 800 990 7763 to speak with a divorce attorney in Tampa.

 

divorce when you own a home

Under Florida divorce law, if you file for a divorce when you own a home the judge will require an “equitable distribution” of the martial assets and liabilities. The court will divide the marital assets and liabilities 50/50 between the couple unless there are factors that would make an equal split inequitable. The first step in equitable distribution for a Florida divorce when you own a home is to classify each asset and debt as either marital or separate property. Only marital property/ debt is subject to equitable distribution by a court; separate property will remain the property of the spouse who owns it. This is typically a straightforward process; however, when it comes to division of the home it can get a little tricky. Therefore, you should seek the advice of a Tampa divorce lawyer for information about how your home may be distributed in a divorce.

Florida Divorce When You Own a Home – is it Marital or Separate Property

Generally, most income, assets, and debts obtained during the marriage is marital property. Property that was individually acquired prior to the marriage will be treated as separate property and not subject to an equitable distribution. However, separate property may be classified as marital property under various circumstances, such as listing both parties as an owner, or commingling the separate property with marital assets. See Farrior v. Farrior. Comingling is an important consideration when filing for divorce when you own a home. Generally, when equal access to the separate property is granted to the spouse it may lose its separate identity and become marital property. See Amato v. Amato. Determining whether or not separate property has been commingled with marital property is based on the specific facts of each case. Therefore, it is best to seek the counsel of an experienced Tampa divorce attorney for information based on your specific circumstances.

How Real Estate is Treated in a Florida Divorce When You Own a Home

Divorce when you own a home can include property that is held as tenants by the entireties. If the title to the home is held as tenants by the entireties it will be presumed to be a marital asset. This will be true even for property that was acquired prior to the marriage. The party asserting a home held as tenancy by entireties is not marital property will have the burden of overcoming the presumption that it is marital property. On the other hand, real estate acquired prior the marriage that does not include the other spouse on the title will be presumed to be separate property, even if both spouses live in the property. See Abdnour v. Abdnour.  In circumstances such as this, the spouse will typically need to show the home was purchased with joint funds to overcome the presumption of separate property.

Real estate that is determined to be separate property may still be subject to a partial distribution in a Florida divorce when you own a home. For instance, if marital funds were used to pay down the mortgage balance, the equity gained in the home will be subject to an equitable distribution. See Mitchell v. Mitchell. Additionally, when marital funds or labor are used to improve the property, the increase in value due to such expenditures may be treated as marital property and subject to an equitable distribution.

What Happens to the Mortgage in a Florida Divorce When You Own the Home

Normally, in a divorce when you own a home and the property is not sold as part of the case, one spouse will be required to make the monthly mortgage payments. However, if the spouse required to make the payments fails to do so both parties may still be liable to the bank for the debt owed. If both parties signed the promissory note for the mortgage, the divorce settlement will not abolish a spouse’s obligation to pay the bank. The bank is not a party to the divorce case and did not consent to any such agreement. Instead, the spouse’s only option will be to seek indemnification from the party required to pay under the divorce settlement agreement.

When drafting divorce settlement agreements for a Florida divorce when you own a home, your divorce law firm should pay special attention to any clauses regarding a sale of the property or assumption of the mortgage debt. For instance, in McDonald v. McDonald, the former wife sought to force a sale of the property due to the ex-husband’s failure to pay the mortgage, as required by the settlement agreement. The court denied the ex-wife’s request for a forced sale because the conditions triggering the right to force the sale were not properly drafted in the settlement agreement.

Tampa Divorce Law Firm

If you are contemplating filing for  divorce and are concerned about keeping your fair share of the assets call us today to speak with divorce attorney in Tampa. Our divorce lawyers have years of experience helping people with their divorce and child custody disputes. Every divorce is different, and our vast experience allows us to cater our services to each client’s individual situation. Whether a couple mutually agrees to the terms of a divorce or are engaged in a fierce battle for their property and child custody rights, Florida Law Advisers, P.A. can help. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and offer a free initial consultation. Call us today at 800 990 7763 to speak with a divorce attorney in Tampa.