Long, Murphy & Zung, P.A.

How an attorney can help with complex asset division

Every state has different laws when it comes to marriage and divorce. Florida law makes it an equitable distribution state. The courts will try to fairly split all marital assets during a divorce. However, if your marriage included a host of unusual assets, it can be difficult to determine what a fair division of property really is.

The courts may look at a variety of factors when determining how to split up the assets acquired during your marriage. These could include custody of children, earning potential and any fault involved with the divorce itself, such as infidelity or physical abuse.

The courts will then take steps to ensure the way assets get divided is fair and equitable. To do that, however, the courts need to be acutely aware of what assets you own and what the fair market value of those assets really is. The greater the overall assets you and your spouse have, the more likely you are to have significant assets, like second homes, which can be difficult to split evenly. Many times, assets will either get divided based on requested by the parties divorcing or split by the courts based on their financial value.

An attorney can help with complex asset division

There are some ways that your family law and divorce lawyer can help with asset division. First and foremost, your attorney can help you retain the services of a forensic accountant. This financial professional can review your financial records and put a price tag on recent purchases. A forensic accountant can also figure out if your former spouse is trying to hide assets from the courts during your divorce. Unscrupulous people may begin planning for a divorce weeks or months ahead of time. These individuals may withdraw cash or quietly stock up on valuable assets before the divorce process starts.

Even if you aren't worried about hidden assets, your attorney's help is still invaluable. Your lawyer can help you connect with professionals who are able to place realistic and supportable values on unusual assets. It's simple enough to determine how much of your 401K was deposited during your marriage. It can be harder to place a value on real estate investments, fine art or even movie memorabilia. Experts can review each item and determine what a reasonable value for it may be. Those figures can then be presented to the courts, allowing for a more thorough and fair process when assets are divided.

Any items purchased during your marriage or bought with funds earned during your marriage may get split by the courts. Certain items may hold emotional value for you, in which case it makes sense to ask the courts about those issues specifically. Your attorney can help you develop a plan for asset division that protects the assets you are most concerned with during the divorce.

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