Couples preparing for a divorce will eventually be presented with the task of dividing their marital assets. Whether there is only a handful of assets or a significant number of assets, the term “asset” is difficult for some couples to understand. However, it is immensely important to understand what can be classified as an asset during a divorce to ensure one spouse does not get to keep something that should have been divided equally.
Misconceptions About Assets
Most couples have more assets than they realize. That is because there is a common misconception that only the wealthy have assets; nevertheless, most couples have multiple assets, regardless of wealth. Any item that produces value or has value is considered an asset. In the most basic terms, any item, account, or object that can be converted into cash can be considered an asset.
Identifying Personal Assets
Assets during a divorce can include tangible and intangible items. If these assets are owned by the couple or were acquired by one of the spouses during the marriage with marital funds, they are considered marital assets and therefore are subject to equitable division. Some examples of personal assets can include:
Bank accounts – including checking and savings accounts, mutual funds, brokerage accounts, etc.
Rights – such as mineral rights, property rights, etc.
Bonds and certificates of deposit
Real estate property – including the family home
How Are Assets Divided During a Florida Divorce?
Marital property and liabilities are divided equitably among spouses. However, “equal” may not actually mean that each spouse gets half of the assets. Judges will use their discretion and consider all relevant factors when determining how to split assets. Some of these factors can include:
The length of the marriage
Each spouse’s financial situation
The contribution each spouse gave to the marriage
Whether or not a spouse sacrificed their own success for the other spouse
Each spouse’s contribution to increasing or acquiring assets
Whether or not a spouse contributed to the depletion or destruction of an asset within two years of filing for divorce
Also, courts will decide how easy it is to split an asset physically. For example, a family owned business is a marital asset. However, if one spouse acted as the main operator of that business, the judge may award the business to that spouse, and then supply the other spouse with money or additional marital assets to make up for it.
It is best if couples come to a settlement agreement before going in front of the courts. By doing so, they can ensure that they are both satisfied with the distribution. Divorce court judges will approve a divorce settlement if both parties agree; but if the parties cannot agree, they must accept whatever distribution the judge decides.
Contact McMichen, Cinami & Demps Attorneys at Law Regarding Your Marital Assets
Marital assets and the equitable distribution of those assets is a complex process. It is best that you speak with a divorce attorney first to help identify which assets can be divided in the divorce agreement and explore your options for distribution. Meet with the attorneys at McMichen, Cinami & Demps Attorneys at Law today by calling us at 407-898-2161 or by filling out an online contact form.