Property Division Lawyer, Sam Jubran Proudly Serving Jacksonville FL
If you’re facing a divorce, you’re likely wondering how your future will change because of it. And the matter of their individual property and how it will be divided is one of the most crucial aspects of a divorce proceeding. When facing property division, it’s vital to have an attorney advocating for your rights. You need someone who can help you keep the assets you’ve worked so hard to attain. Our Jacksonville property division attorney understands the multi-faceted issue of property division, and will work tirelessly to protect your assets.
What Is Considered Property?
When dissecting the definition of “property,” it can become daunting because it’s so extensive. Property includes some of the following:
- Real estate
- Bank accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Sick or vacation leave
- Intellectual property (patents, copyrights)
- Stock options
- Insurance benefits
- Liabilities- student loans, credit card balances, car payments, etc.
This is only a small portion of the components that are considered a couple’s property. So considering that all these items must be fairly divided upon a divorce, it’s no wonder divorce attorneys exist. You can’t mistakenly attempt to face this sizable task alone or place it in the hands of an incompetent attorney. The attorneys at A. Sam Jubran’s office can methodically sort out all of a couple’s property and make sure it’s fairly and equitably divided.
Debt Is Also Considered Property
While most people think of homes and cars when they hear the word property, they rarely think of debt. However, when dividing property between spouses, the court will also consider debts, including loans, credit card debt, medical debt, and more. Any money that is owed to third parties may be considered jointly owned by spouses. This may seem unfair if your spouse acquired debt by themselves. In this situation, it is important to work with a property division attorney who can help you prove to the court that you shouldn’t be considered owner of your spouse’s debts.
Marital Vs. Nonmarital Property
How the Court Divides Nonmarital Property
Nonmarital property is the property that was acquired before the marriage such as a spouse’s inheritance or an excluded asset in a prenuptial agreement. Sometimes nonmarital property can be converted to Marital Property, such as a joint bank account that both spouses deposit into or additions to a home made during a marriage.
Florida attempts to divide Marital Property through an equitable distribution, meaning fairly and evenly between the two spouses. The process by which the court divides this property is summarized as follows:
- All marital and nonmarital property is identified by the court.
- Each type of property is identified and grouped together. The court uses the date of marriage and the date a valid separation agreement or dissolution of marriage was filed, to determine the dates used for classifying the property as marital or nonmarital.
- The court values the marital property.
- The marital property is distributed by the court.
How the Court Divides Marital Property
How the marital property is divided is easier said than done. The court relies on several different factors to make this determination, including the contribution each spouse made to the union (financial or otherwise), the duration of the marriage, the economic circumstances of each spouse, each spouse’s desire for certain items, and a spouse’s qualification to retain certain items. Request a free consultation with the Jacksonville Property Division Attorney at our firm to find out more.
A couple’s liabilities, or debts, that were accrued during their marriage are also subject to division by the courts. Similar to a couple’s property, liabilities are divided into marital and non-marital categories. Liabilities that are determined to be non-marital are officially left to the spouse who incurred them. Marital debts are divided jointly, at the court’s discretion. The last thing a divorcing spouse needs is a substantial award of debt as they’re facing a new life as a single individual. A Jacksonville property division attorney understands the vulnerability of this critical time and will work to lessen your financial burden, as the division of liabilities is calculated.
Gifts May Be Considered Marital Property
If you acquired a gift during the marriage, it may not be considered joint marital property to be distributed in a divorce. However, gifts given between spouses may be considered marital property. For example, if your grandmother gives you a family heirloom, it will likely be considered your separate property. However, if your spouse gave you a diamond necklace, then it, or its value, may be separated in the divorce.
Make an Agreement, or the Judge Will Decide
When separating your property, you can make an agreement with your ex. This agreement would be in writing and included in your divorce documents. It’s best to work with a property division attorney when negotiating a division of property with your spouse.
There are many factors to consider to ensure you make a fair agreement with your spouse. Your spouse will be looking out for themselves, and will likely want to take as many assets as possible while leaving you with debt. Don’t be left in the dark. Work with a lawyer who can help you evaluate your marital property and get a fair deal.
If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement regarding your property, then a judge will make the decision for you. You will have to attend a hearing along with your property division attorney, and the judge will review relevant factors regarding your property. A judge will assess your property and then make an order separating it between you and your ex.
Equitable Distribution Does Not Mean “Equal”
When the court separates your property between you and your ex, they will do so according to equitable distribution. That means they will distribute, or separate, your assets and debts according to what the court sees as fair. This does not mean that assets and debt will be split equally between spouses. It’s possible for one spouse to get the majority of assets while the other gets the majority of debt. The court will assess many factors and determine what it feels is a fair distribution of property.
Division of Difficult-to-Divide Assets
While the court will be separating assets as fairly as possible, it will also take into consideration those assets that are difficult to divide. For example, a family home or business may not be easily split between spouses. When one spouse gets the family home, other assets may be pooled and given to the opposite spouse. And when a business is owned by only one spouse, the court may allocate the house or other large assets to the other spouse to make the distribution equitable.
When one large difficult-to-divide asset is awarded to a spouse and there are no other equitable assets, the court may require financial compensation to the other spouse who does not take ownership of the assets. Thus, if a home is given to one spouse, that spouse may have to pay a certain amount to the other spouse as an equitable division of all assets.
Don’t Wait! Call Our Jacksonville Property Division Lawyer, Sam Jubran
An attorney is essential in advocating for your rights to your property and making sure your settlement is fair and equitable. The Jacksonville divorce attorneys at A. Sam Jubran’s office have helped countless individuals walk away from a device settlement with an ample and fair amount of their marital assets. Unlike child custody, alimony, or child support, the division of property is final and can’t be modified once it’s decided. Because of this unique delineation, the importance of hiring a capable attorney is crystal clear. Our Jacksonville property division attorney has copious experience in advocating for their client’s property and making sure it’s a smooth process. Call us today for a free consultation!