One of the most highly contested areas of divorce is the division of marital property including both assets and debts. Each party has an opinion about fairness. However an opinion about fairness does not carry weight when there is a disagreement about how to divide marital property. That is why you should seek the assistance of one of Parker & DuFresne, P.A.’s knowledgeable family law attorneys to help you protect your assets and to protect you from undue responsibility for repaying debts. At Parker & DuFresne, P.A. we have decades of experience, and we know about the division of property and debts in the State of Florida. We will work with you to keep the assets to which you are entitled and to get rid of the debts for which you are not responsible.
In the State of Florida, property is subject to “equitable distribution.” Equitable distribution means that the Court will divide marital assets and debts equitably…but not necessarily equally. Your Parker & DuFresne, P.A. equitable distribution attorneys have the skills necessary for negotiating a fair distribution of your assets and debts.
What are marital assets and debts? Marital assets can include pensions, vehicles, jewelry, real property, and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Marital debts can include credit cards, car loans, mortgage debt, medical debt, and Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs). Assets or debts obtained outside the marriage are not included.
The property distribution attorneys at Parker & DuFresne, P.A. assist in determining classifications for assets… marital, nonmarital, or commingled…as well as their values. If necessary, we are prepared to work with a team of professionals to accomplish this. Property that needs to be classified and valued may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- The family residence
- Motor vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, boats
- Bank accounts
- Pension and retirement accounts
- Investments, including real estate, stock options, bonds
- Items of monetary or sentimental value, including jewelry, collectables, artwork
- Household furnishings
- Memberships, including country clubs, golf clubs, time-share clubs, vacation clubs
The court looks to many factors when distributing property. When a divorce is finalized, the parties are generally entitled to equal shares of property obtained during the marriage. There are exceptions, however.
- If you or your spouse owned property before the marriage, you or your spouse usually may keep it or be credited with its value. This does not apply, though, if the property is said to have been gifted to the other spouse or to the marriage.
- If you or your spouse receives a direct gift that is not intended for the other, then you or your spouse will more than likely be permitted to keep the gift or be credited with its value.
Although one would assume that debts, like assets, are shared by both parties in a divorce, it is not necessarily the case. In some instances, the majority of debt assumption goes to the person earning the greater income at the time of the divorce. This could be applied to attorneys’ fees in addition to any marital debts. In other instances, the party receiving the asset also gets any debt that goes with it. The property distribution lawyers at Parker & DuFresne will utilize all of its resources to assure that your share of debt assumption is fair and reasonable.
Parker & DuFresne, P.A. serves clients in Duval, St. Johns, Clay, and Nassau counties. If you are dealing with property division issues, it is imperative that you be pro-active in seeking the legal advice and representation of an experienced Parker & DuFresne, P.A. attorney as soon as possible. Waiting to do so could negatively impact your ability to achieve a positive resolution to the matter. Protect your legal rights by contacting Parker & DuFresne, P. A. at 904.733.7766 or at http://www.jaxlawcenter.com to schedule a free and confidential consultation. At Parker & DuFresne, P.A., our skilled family law attorneys are ready to represent and protect your interests during property division proceedings.