If a couple can’t agree on how to divide their jointly owned property themselves, the dispute of dividing property is brought before the court. The laws of divorce and property division vary depending on which state you live in. In the state of Florida, property division is decided by the court on the basis of equitable distribution.
“Property” in legal terms refers to anything that is jointly owned in a marriage, including but not limited to: houses, vehicles, land, material possessions, assets, earnings, and debts. If you and your spouse can not reach an agreement regarding the division of your property, you should seek legal advice from an experienced divorce lawyer with property division expertise.
Equitable Distribution of Property
Any property that a couple jointly owns is subject to equitable distribution at the time of a divorce. In most divorces, almost all property is jointly owned, with the exception of explicitly separate accounts that are owned by one spouse only. Equitable distribution of jointly owned property implies that the property is divided fairly. It does not always mean that the property is divided equally. Differences in wage earnings between spouses, for example, may factor in to how exactly the court distributes the property.
Avoiding Fraud in a Divorce
With all of the emotional baggage that a divorce often brings, it can be difficult to sort through all the legal details of a divorce. It can be especially hard to remember every single piece of property that you and your spouse share. Forming a spreadsheet of jointly owned property, divided by category, is a good way to record any and all property that you have. An experienced Florida divorce lawyer can help you recall and list all of the property that you jointly own to help ensure that you get all of the property to which you are entitled, including assets and earnings.
It is illegal to withhold property during a divorce to prevent it from being subject to equitable distribution, but attempts by one spouse to defraud another are not uncommon. Skilled divorce lawyers that know the details of relevant tax and business law can sit down with you and help sort through any relevant documents to help your case. Solid legal expertise can be extremely helpful when sorting through the complex property division process.