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More Than 3 Decades of Collective Experience

Facing Divorce or other family law matters?
We can help!

Melbourne, FL Property Division Attorneys

Assisting with the Equitable Distribution of Assets and Liabilities Throughout Brevard County

Property-Division

We know the extensive long-term financial impact a divorce can have on your life and especially how your assets and liabilities are divided between you and your spouse.

Our experienced Melbourne, FL property division attorneys can carefully evaluate and inventory your marital assets and liabilities so that your financial settlement is fair and equitable.

Get started on your case by calling the Figueroa Law Group, P.A. at (321) 326-8232.

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION:

Equitable distribution is the process in Florida of dividing the assets and debts of the parties.  The court will begin with the premise that the distribution should be equal unless there is a justification for an unequal distribution.  The court considers factors in deciding the equitable distribution as follows:
  1. The contribution to the marriage by each spouse, including contributions to the care and education of the children and services as a homemaker
  2. The economic circumstances of the parties.
  3. The duration of the marriage
  4. Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party.
  5. The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse
  6. 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
  7. 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 non-marital assets of the parties.
  8. The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage or any other part
  9. The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition
  10. Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
   

MARITAL ASSETS AND LIABILITIES

The assets and debts include assets and debts acquired during the marriage, individually by either spouse or jointly by them. The enhancement in value and appreciation of non-marital assets resulting either from the efforts of either party during the marriage or from the contribution to or expenditure of marital funds or other forms of marital assets.  The pay down of principal of a note and mortgage secured by non-marital real property and a portion of any passive appreciation in the property, if the note and mortgage secured by the property are paid down from marital funds during the marriage. The portion of passive appreciation in the property characterized as marital and subject to equitable distribution is determine by multiplying a coverture fraction by the passive appreciation in the property during the marriage.  Interspousal gifts during the marriage and all vested and non-vested benefits, rights and funds accrued during the marriage in retirement, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, deferred compensation and insurance plans.

Separating Marital and Non-Marital Property

The first step in the property division process is to properly classify marital property and non-marital property.  Once a determination of marital and non-marital assets is made the court will set aside the non-marital assets such as assets and liabilities incurred by either party prior to the marriage and after the filing of the petition if marital funds were not used. Non-marital assets can include an inheritance, assets and liabilities excluded by a valid written agreement of the parties.  Any liability incurred by forgery or unauthorized signature of one spouse will be the non-marital liability of that party who committed the forgery or affixed the unauthorized signature. 

There are also certain situations when property is placed in an irrevocable trust that may or may not be non-marital.  When non-marital property is comingled with marital property it loses its separate character and it will likely be determined to be marital property subject to equitable distribution.

Your marital assets may include:

  • The family home, vacation property, and any other financial interests that were acquired during your marriage
  • Cars, boats, vehicles, and recreational vehicles
  • Valuables, including jewelry, art, and other collectibles
  • Retirement, pension funds, and IRAs
  • Stocks and stock options
  • Passive appreciation of the value of real estate

Your marital liabilities may include:

  • Mortgages and home equity lines of credit
  • Credit card balances
  • Car loans
  • Personal loans
  • Retirement loans
  • Tax debts

CUT-OFF DATE TO IDENTIFY MARITAL ASSETS AND LIABILITIES

The cut-off date for identifying marital assets is the earliest of the date of the parties entered into a valid separation agreement or the date of filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage.

VALUATION OF ASSETS AND LIABILITIES

Once the court determines the marital assets and liabilities then the court will need to determine the values of these assets and liabilities and make written findings.  The parties can enter into an agreement outside of court as to the value of their assets and liabilities. The date for the valuation is the date the judge determines is just and equitable under the circumstances.  Different assets may be valued as of different dates, as, in the judge’s discretion, and as the circumstances required.  There are times when the date of filing the petition is used as the valuation date.  The court will examine whether one party’s actions were responsible for the increase and decrease in value of, the asset in question subsequent to the date of separation of date of petition. 

DEPLETED VS. DISSIPATED ASSETS

Mismanagement of funds may not be a basis for misconduct to support the inclusion of dissipated assets for purposes of equitable distribution.  If the facts support depletion or dissipated assets, those assets will be included in the equitable distribution to the party the depleted or dissipated the assets and may owe the other party in the final analysis or it may be used as an off-set of any assets awarded. Assignment due to dissipation must be based on the trial court’s specific finding of intentional misconduct based on evidence showing that the marital funds were used for the party’s own benefit and for a purpose unrelated to the marriage at a time when the marriage was undergoing an irreconcilable break down.

CREDITS/SET OFFS

In some circumstances a party’s payment of marital property-related expenses during a separation may be a credit or set off to any obligation owed or may be entitled to reimbursement for half of the expenses.

INTERIM PARTIAL DISTRIBUTION

If there is good cause during the dissolution action the court may enter an order for interim partial distribution and will identify and value the marital and non-marital assets and liabilities made by a sworn motion.  The good cause will require a showing why the matter should not be deferred until the final hearing.

Legal Advice When You Need It Most

Whether your divorce is amicable or you are dealing with an unreasonable spouse and need aggressive representation to properly divide your assets and liabilities, the Figueroa Law Group, P.A. can help you protect your financial future.

Our property division lawyers in Melbourne, FL can provide full litigation support including forensic accountants, financial advisers, and investigators – to assure you have complete knowledge and understanding of your financial situation and tax consequences. This way you will fully understand the impact of the equitable distribution at the time of the distribution and going forward.   We have the experience to help you unravel your complex assets and liabilities, including family businesses, pension plans, stocks, bonds, trusts and other sophisticated financial issues.

Regardless of whether you are the spouse who “controlled the finances,” you are entitled to complete discovery of the financial assets and liabilities  a fair and equitable division upon divorce. Contact us at (321) 326-8232 to learn more.

Client Testimonials

Providing Support for Our Clients in Their Time of Need
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We called in desperation and hung up with satisfaction.
Client
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You protected us from the harm false accusations would have brought our family.
Britney D.
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Attorney Figueroa has carefully selected staff that enjoy their jobs. It comes across in the way they have treated me and all those that are a part of my dissolution of marriage.
Former Client
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I was in a battle for my children with an ex-husband with a bottomless wallet & the best attorney in his town. Well, I got the best attorney in my town with Diana. She listened, referenced law books, looked over all the documents I took to her.
Joseph M.
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I met Diana Figueroa approximately a year and 1/2 ago when we both joined a national group of like-minded attorneys. During that time I had the opportunity to meet with Diana on a regular basis.
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The attorneys and entire staff are professional and very nice.
Sharletta H. The attorneys and entire staff are professional and very nice. Mary
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A professional who will champion your case
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Professionalism, knowledge, detail oriented and care to areas of concern are the qualities why I chose Diana Figueroa Law Firm.
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Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Figueroa Law Group!
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They know what they are doing.

Facing Divorce or other family law matters? We can help!