Treasure Coast Divorce Lawyers Advise on Marital Asset Division
Experienced Stuart attorneys work to achieve fair property distributions
Divorce does more than mark the end of an emotional relationship. It also separates the financial interests that have been shared among the spouses, often for many years. McCarthy, Summers, Wood, Norman, Melby & Schultz, P.A. provides knowledgeable counsel to clients who require assistance on asset division issues as well as other aspects of the Florida marriage dissolution process. When parties cannot come to an agreement on the allocation of property and debts, the state’s equitable distribution law applies. This calls for the judge to conduct a wide-ranging review of the divorcing couple’s assets, debts, finances and potential earnings. But the equitable distribution ordered will not necessarily be equal, so it’s critical to retain a skillful family lawyer to ensure the fairness of the process. We examine the situation closely, listen to your needs and pursue a resolution that treats your fairly and lets you make a new start with a solid foundation.
Proven firm advises on key elements of Florida’s equitable distribution law
Getting a candid assessment of property division issues is the first step in developing a thorough plan to securing a favorable outcome. The process can become very complicated for high net worth couples and indeed in any divorce where complex assets such as investments, pensions and business shares are at stake. Our firm outlines relevant legal concepts and how they relate to you, such as:
- Marital property — It generally does not matter which party earned income or accumulated wealth through some other means. Once a couple is married, most assets acquired become part of the marital estate, including business ownership shares, investments and retirement accounts. So, it’s important to speak with a qualified family law attorney to understand exactly what is at stake before entering into property division discussions.
- Separate property — Assets that were owned prior to the wedding are classified as separate property and are not subject to an equitable distribution decision. The same is true for gifts and inheritances left to one party. However, serious conflicts could occur as to whether particular items belong in the marital estate, especially when someone had a pre-marriage asset that grew or was exchanged after the wedding. We are knowledgeable advisers and strong advocates for the rights of our clients in these instances.
- Effect of prenuptial or postnuptial agreements — Many couples complete a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to avoid disputes over property division issues in the event of a divorce. If you signed one of these documents, we’ll assess its validity and advise you how it should affect the outcome in your case.
As we work to reach an appropriate outcome, we rely on our substantial experience and subject matter experts to gain a detailed perspective on accounting and valuation issues.
Family advocates explain factors used in property division cases
When a court decides upon an equitable distribution, many factors can come into play. Usually, the length of the marriage and the earning ability of each spouse heavily shape the ultimate result. If a wife or husband stopped working outside the home to be a full-time caregiver or sacrificed their career in order to support their spouse’s endeavors, the equitable distribution should take those contributions into account. Certain assets might be difficult to split up, such as the marital home if one party remains there to raise the couple’s children or for some other reason. Our experienced Florida divorce lawyers take the time to review all of the potentially relevant circumstances in your situation and seek to secure a resolution that protects your interests.
Contact a dedicated Florida divorce lawyer for counsel on marital asset division
McCarthy, Summers, Wood, Norman, Melby & Schultz, P.A. handles asset division issues and other aspects of Florida divorce for clients on the Treasure Coast and in the Palm Beaches. For a consultation at our Stuart office, please call 772-286-1700 or contact us online.