Orlando Property Division Lawyer
Navigate the complexities of divorce with an Orlando property division lawyer at the O’Mara Law Group. From identifying marital assets to court-approved settlements, our experienced family law attorneys can help you pursue fair distribution in your case. Whether the case involves joint assets or separate property, we will protect your rights during these stressful and emotional times.
Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Attorney Mark O’Mara
Content last updated on: September 21, 2023
Dividing property can be an emotionally challenging process for divorcing couples. During these times, the spouses must prove ownership of their rightful property while staying amicable during the proceedings. Even with the distinction between separate and marital property, complications could arise, requiring the assistance of an Orlando property division attorney.
Our family law attorneys at the O’Mara Law Group can help you navigate these challenges successfully. Over the years, we have helped thousands of couples resolve their property division issues in Florida. If you are going through a divorce and need assistance with these matters, consult an Orlando divorce lawyer from the O’Mara Law Group.
Experienced Orlando Property Division Lawyers
When you need an Orlando divorce lawyer, our team at the O’Mara Law Group is here to help.
Mark M. O’Mara leads the team and is board certified in marital and family law and collaborative law. He is also a Supreme Court-certified Family Mediator and Circuit Civil Mediator. Mark has been named to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100.
Cathleen Winter is an integral member of our team and is skilled in handling all issues related to family law. Cathleen is the current president of the Greater Orlando Asian American Bar Association. She is also a founding member of the American Academy for Certified Financial Litigators Orlando Chapter.
Mark Rabinowitz has been Board Certified in Marital and Family Law in Florida since 1999. He has served on the Marital and Family Law Certification Committee of The Florida Bar, and has served as a member of the Family Law Rules Committee.
Rose Marsh has been practicing Family Law in Orlando for over 31 years. She is a Florida Supreme Court Family Law Mediator and also practices Collaborative Law.
With our team on your side, you can rest assured that we will handle your divorce and property division with the utmost professionalism.
What Property Is Divided During a Divorce?
The courts will determine two categories of property during a divorce: separate and marital. The courts will treat these properties differently during property division.
Marital property typically includes all the assets and debts obtained during the marriage. The property is often considered jointly owned regardless of which spouse is named on the ownership or title documents.
For property to be categorized as marital, both individuals must have contributed to its acquisition, maintenance, and growth over the years. Some examples of marital property include:
- Bank accounts
- Jewelry and designer handbags
- Retirement savings
- Rental property
Along with assets, any debts incurred throughout the marriage are often considered joint property. These debts can include credit card balances, loans, and mortgages.
Separate property is usually handled differently by the courts. The spouse has often owned this property before the marriage. Separate property can also consist of inheritance, gifts, and other assets the individual partner may have acquired. If the property can be traced back to the spouse and was kept separate from the joint property, it is considered a non marital asset.
However, maintaining a separate property throughout a marriage can become complicated. If the spouse used the property for marital expenses or commingled it with joint property, it could lose its status as a separate asset. The court may deem it part of the marital estate, subjecting it to division.
Equitable Distribution of Assets and Debts in a Florida Divorce
While the courts strive for an equal division in most cases, a 50/50 split may not always be feasible. The court may opt for an unequal distribution when it’s deemed equitable. Several factors influence the court’s decision in divorce property division, such as:
- Contribution to marriage: The court considers the contributions of each spouse to the marriage, including homemaking and childcare responsibilities.
- Economic circumstances: The financial situation of each spouse, including income and assets, plays a significant role in property division.
- Marriage duration: The length of the marriage is a vital factor in the division of assets and debts.
- Career and education interruption: If the marriage caused an interruption in a spouse’s career or education, it may impact the property division.
- Contributions to career or education: The support provided by one spouse to enhance the other’s career or education is considered.
- The desirability of retaining assets: The court may consider whether it’s beneficial for one spouse to keep certain assets, such as a business, without interference from the other.
- Contribution to raising income or increasing debts: The court will examine the contributions of each spouse to growing income or increasing debts of both marital and nonmarital assets.
- Marital home considerations: The court may prioritize retaining the marital home as a residence for the children.
- Intentional asset dissipation: Deliberate destruction or waste of marital assets after the divorce filing or within the prior two years prior is considered.
- Other factors for equity and justice: The court may consider any additional factors necessary to ensure a fair outcome for both spouses.
How Is Property Divided During a Divorce?
In Florida, the division of marital property follows a specific set of steps outlined by the state’s laws. Typically, these steps include:
- Identification and classification of property: The first step is distinguishing between marital and nonmarital property.
- Valuation of assets: This process may involve closely examining tax records and bank statements to determine the couple’s assets and liabilities.
- Distribution process: Florida follows the principle of equitable distribution, meaning the court decides based on the length of the marriage, each spouse’s financial and non-financial contributions, and economic circumstances. The property may be divided through liquidation or physical division.
- Negotiation and settlement: Both spouses can negotiate to reach a property settlement agreement to submit to the court.
- Court hearings: If the spouses cannot agree through negotiation or mediation, the case might go to court.
- Court approval: If the spouses reach an agreement, the court must approve the settlement to ensure it follows Florida state laws and is fair to both parties.
- Finalizing the divorce: Once the property division is settled and approved, the court will issue a final judgment that includes the property division arrangement.
Remember, this is a simplified overview, and the process can become more intricate based on individual factors.
Other Considerations in Divorce Cases
Divorce proceedings will address other concerns, too. Couples must hash out the terms for child custody and spousal support. These issues are usually addressed at the same time as property division issues.
Sometimes, if both sides cannot agree, the couples must seek mediation from a third party. At this stage, a mediator will hear both sides of the case and try to reach a fair agreement with all parties.
Rely on the O'Mara Law Group
Property division is a vital part of any divorce proceedings in Florida. Whether you have numerous assets or just a few, you must have experienced legal help. At the O’Mara Law Group, our team of family law attorneys is here to provide you with the support you need throughout these difficult times. We are committed to protecting your rights and interests during this process.
The O’Mara Law Group’s experienced attorneys can help you fight for a fair and equitable distribution of assets and debts. If you need assistance with your divorce, trust our skilled property division attorney to advocate for you. Schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable lawyers today.
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