When you are facing the prospect of divorce in South Miami, you need to understand what equitable distribution means. Every divorce involves the division of marital property and this process is guided by the theory of equitable distribution.
Equitable distribution involves a Judge diving property in a way that is fair. Given the high stakes of this process, it is critical to rely on a dedicated family attorney. A South Miami equitable distribution lawyer can help you protect your rights—and your belongings—during a divorce case.
Marital Property vs. Non-Marital Property
Before a Judge can determine how to distribute property in a divorce, they must first understand what property is jointly owned by the couple. When two people dissolve their marriage, there will be some property that is excluded from the property division process. A Judge will only divide marital property during the divorce process. When it comes to individual property, ownership rights remain with the spouse who owned the asset from the start. A South Miami attorney can help identify each type of property in a marriage.
In general, marital property refers to anything acquired during the course of the marriage or bought with shared assets. This property is treated as marital property, even in cases where only one spouse takes the steps to purchase it. There are some exceptions to this rule; family inheritance, for example, is never treated as marital property.
Most instances of non-marital property involve assets that were purchased by one spouse prior to their marriage. Typically, this property remains an individual asset during the marriage. Any income derived from this property is also considered to be non-marital. It is possible to identify assets as a non-marital property using a prenuptial agreement.
Understanding the Equitable Distribution Process
There are three important steps in the process of dividing marital assets and a South Miami equitable distribution attorney can help with each of them. First and foremost, the court must identify all the assets of the marriage. This means not only determining what each spouse owns, but also categorizing these assets as either marital or non-marital.
Once the court identifies the assets, their next step is to place a value on them. This step is important, as valuing these assets can have a major impact on how they are divided. An incorrect value can result in a distribution of assets that is not equitable.
Once all assets are identified, categorized, and have an assigned value, the final step is for the Judge to distribute those assets in an equitable manner. This is often done by splitting the assets equally between spouses. However, there are situations where the court determines the equitable outcome involves one spouse receiving more assets than the other.
Having the support of legal counsel can dramatically increase the chances of a fair outcome, as an attorney advocates for a property split that is fair and equitable.
Call a South Miami Equitable Distribution Attorney Today
If your divorce case is likely to involve property disputes, it is a good idea to rely on legal counsel who understands the rules of equitable distribution. You deserve an attorney who will fight for the best possible outcome in our case—and The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm is here to step in.
Call our office today and speak with a South Miami equitable distribution lawyer. Free case evaluations are available.