Divorce and your property rights:
Regrettably, many marriages don't stay for better or worse and they tragically end in divorce for whatever reason.
The problem is that during the period of time a couple has been married, they have built up a collection of items and possessions that effectively are owned jointly.
And now, somehow they have to be divided.
The largest item is likely to be the family home and although it was a glorious moment when the happy couple first purchased their home, now things have gone wrong it becomes an item that causes a lot of aggravation and heartache. After all, a home is the biggest and most expensive purchase most people ever make in their lives.
If you are considering getting divorced it is essential that you understand about the relevant laws relating to property rights when it comes to divorce.
For example, if you owned a property prior to getting married and you kept it but didn't live in it as a couple it remains yours in its entirety; providing your spouse did not contribute to its upkeep.
Additionally, if you have received a property as an inheritance or gift from a third party, it does not necessarily form part of the joint estate, unless bequeathed to both you and your spouse.
Florida statutes and case law provide for an "equitable distribution" of marital assets and liabilities. Marital property should be divided fairly or equitably (not necessarily equally) between the parties, regardless of how title is held. A court decides equitable distribution before considering alimony. Equitable distribution is based on a long list of factors the court is required to consider.
Factors to be considered by the court include the contribution of each spouse to the marriage; the duration of the marriage; and the economic circumstances of each spouse. The court should approve your agreement if the court finds it to be reasonable. If you and your spouse cannot agree, the court will divide the assets and liabilities during trial.
Marital property must be split in an equitable manner in the event of a divorce. It does not always mean a split of 50/50, because it depends on the needs of a person, how much they contributed during the marriage and each person's own financial position. It is important to note that if any other properties are owned, but not lived in by the couple getting divorced, then if they are looked after or paid for jointly then they become part of the marital estate and will be included for the purposes of equitable distribution.
A court has the power to determine how to separate the property. This may be by awarding a monetary amount to one party and letting the other retain the property. Alternatively the court can decide that the property has to be sold to a third party or that one of the party getting divorced purchases the property from the other half at a price applicable on the open market at the time.
If you are getting divorced the simplest and best method to divide up your property to is try to do it amicably outside of the jurisdiction of the court.
The Tampa family law attorneys at Fernandez Law Group always represent the best interests of our clients and if you have any questions about property rights, or need a property rights attorney in Tampa, we suggest you
Call us today at 813-489-3222 for a FREE consultation and case evaluation.
Content authored by Frank Fernandez