Under Florida divorce law, when a couple gets a divorce the court will order an “equitable distribution” of the martial assets and liabilities when they need to figure out how to divide marital property in Florida. The first step in answering how to divide marital property in Florida 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 may seem very straightforward but it can be a very complicated process. For instance, if separate property is comingled with marital property, the separate property may also have to be divided amongst the parties by the judge. Therefore, you should seek the advice of a Tampa divorce lawyer if you need assistance.
How to Divide Marital Property in Florida With Comingling
There are three distinct categories of commingling: strict transmutation approach, tracing approach, and intent of the parties. Each category has its own set of requirements and rules regarding the distribution of the property. For more information about commingling of assets contact a Tampa divorce lawyer for legal advice.
The Strict Transmutation Approach
The strict transmutation approach is one method for how to divide marital property in Florida. Under this method, any commingling of assets maybe considered comingled without considering any other facts. For instance, if money gained during the marriage is mixed with money gained from non-marital stock holdings it may be comingled. By placing separate/non-marital stocks into the same account as marital stock, it is transformed and all money in the account becomes part of marital assets. See Abdnour v. Abdnour.
The Tracing Method
Another method for how to divide marital property in Florida is the tracing method. Under this approach, if it is possible to trace the separate assets to their origins, they will remain separate property. An example would be if one spouse held an account solely in their name, only deposited pre-marital earnings into the account, and only those earnings to pay pre-marital related expenses. In this scenario, it is simple to trace the origins and uses of the money in the account. If there is any comingling of pre-marital funds with the use of marital expenses or marital assets it becomes too complicated to trace and the account will likely be considered marital property. See Terreros v. Terreros.
How to Divide Marital Property in Florida With the Intent of the Parties Approach
The third approach for how to divide marital property in Florida is the intent of the parties approach. This category is the least consistent because it requires the court to determine the intent of the parties. The judge will be required to determine the intent of the spouse when the separate and marital assets were combined. If the Judge feels the spouse never intended to mix assets or give a gift, the asset will not be considered marital property and divided in the divorce case. See Lakin v. Lakin. In divorce cases involving this approach, it is important to have a divorce lawyer in Tampa at your side. A skilled divorce lawyer in Tampa can make a big difference in how the judge classifies marital property.
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 a divorce attorney in Tampa. At Florida Law Advisers, we use effective negotiations to help save time, money, and stress for our clients. However, when the issues cannot be resolved through negotiations, we are prepared to go to court and fight aggressively for whats fair. With years of experience in divorce litigation we are more than ready to present a compelling case on your behalf. To speak with a divorce attorney in Tampa call us at 800 990 7763, we are available 24/7.