Property Division / Complex Divorce
South Florida Property Division Lawyer
Property division can be a very complex issue, especially if you have a business or other significant assets. If you are contemplating a divorce, it's a good idea to consult an attorney so you have a better understanding of marital and non-marital property and the process of equitable distribution. Pembroke Pines attorney Jerome Ventura is highly experienced in identifying martial assets and helping you understand how family law courts in Florida have treated those assets in other divorces.
Assets in divorce are classified as either marital (which will be divided) or non-marital (which you get to keep). Marital assets are those assets accumulated from the date of your marriage until the date of separation, including savings and investments, businesses, real estate, and retirement benefits. Non-marital assets generally include those assets you had prior to marriage and any passive appreciation of those assets, as well as gifts and inheritances received after marriage.
While the rules determining what are marital and what are non-marital assets may seem straight-forward, there can be many gray areas where you need a lawyer’s advice regarding property division. For example:
- If you commingled non-marital and marital assets, then those assets could be considered marital. Commingling is putting both names on property, putting money into a joint bank account, or putting a title in both names.
- One party may have special equity in marital property. For example, if you used separate property to make a down payment on a house, then you would be entitled to receive that equity back before the asset is divided.
- If you actively invested stocks owned prior to marriage, then the appreciation may be considered marital property.
Significant assets such as antiques and artwork must be appraised by experts. The value of businesses is calculated using generally accepted accounting principles (GAP). To determine the value of businesses, attorney Jerome Venture often uses forensic accountants who have the ability to testify in court. Pensions and other retirement plan benefits are divided using a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) or DRO (Domestic Relations Order), depending on the type of retirement plan. Mr. Ventura uses an actuary to determine how retirement plan benefits should be divided, and he makes sure to hire a tax specialist in complex divorces to minimize your tax obligations.
If property division issues are keeping you up at night, we at the law firm of Jerome P. Ventura, P.A. can provide the answers. For an initial limited consultation at no charge, call 954.438.2828 or complete the contact form on this web site. Evening appointments are available.