We Specialize in Complex Property Division
The O’Mara Law Group knows what a difficult time your divorce is for you. We know the countless nights you’ve spent thinking about it. Why add another worry to your list? If the daunting prospect of dividing your properties keeps you up late at night, talk to an Orlando divorce property division attorney.
We know that financial assets aren’t easy to split up. You may have life insurance policies, retirement plans, pensions, stock options, brokerage accounts and more to be inventoried and evaluated. More than that, consider the wine collections, sentimental gifts, home furnishings, and antiques that are now suddenly up for grabs. Determining a value for these assets can be difficult, and costly. It’s hardly ever the best indicator of how much these sentimental items are worth to you. How do you determine, not which item is worth more financially, but emotionally?
When discussing equitable division of property, there are some terms you need to understand first. You need to understand the difference between Separate (non-marital) Property and Marital Property.
We define Separate Property as a few things:
- Property owned by a spouse before marriage
- A gift received from a third party
- An inheritance (whether received before or after marriage) as long as it is kept separated
- Money from some sort of personal injury judgment given to either spouse for their pain
Now, if you give your husband or wife access to your inheritance and deposit it into a joint bank account, this will most likely no longer be considered separate property. Do you see where the line begins to gray?
Marital property, on the other hand, is all the rest of the “stuff” you acquired during the actual marriage. This is where it can get confusing, because even though assets are either in your name or your spouse’s name, it does not mean it belongs solely and completely to you. It is still considered marital property, and will be considered for equitable division.
The gray areas get more complicated the longer the marriage, and/or the more diverse the assets. Separate property can also be considered marital property if it increases in value during the marriage. For this, you’ll need to know two terms: Active Appreciation and Passive Appreciation.
Active appreciation means that the increase in value came in part from your efforts or those of your spouse. So if your husband helped you out with your own business by giving you advice, working late and taking care of household duties, and of course, the kids, and your business flourished, that might be an argument used as marital property.
On the other hand, passive appreciation is really all about your separate property asset increasing in value due to some sort of outside force. So if you or your wife made no improvements to a piece of land and it simply increased in value, you might not have an argument that this piece of land should be in the mix with marital property.
When dividing assets, courts consider how long the marriage was, how much each of you earn, your age and health, your earning potential, and more, which is why you need to speak to a divorce attorney from the O’Mara law group. We know that these battles can get personal and complicated, but we are willing to fight for you. We don’t just deal with bank statements—we look at the overall value of your assets, and how they can be divided to benefit you best. When it comes to dividing assets, know that you’re not alone, and that we use all of our resources to work for you and towards a successful resolution of a difficult matter.