Like any major, life-altering decision, it’s critical to enter into a divorce with clear expectations. Divorce brings many significant changes regarding family arrangements, lifestyle, finances, and personal property.
In a divorce, personal property (also called “assets”) isn’t necessarily divided up based on who owned what prior to a marriage, although that is the most common outcome. In some cases, property owned by one individual before the marriage will become what legal professionals call “marital property” after the divorce. But in most cases, only what was acquired during the marriage will be considered marital property. One thing is sure though, identifying marital assets and dividing them up is hardly ever simple or straightforward. According to a divorce writer for Forbes, “Deciding who should get what can be quite a challenge, even under the most amenable of situations. But, if your divorce is contentious, then this can be especially complicated.”
What is marital property?
In general, marital property is any asset that was acquired during the marriage in question. Forbes goes on to point out that marital property can include, but is not limited to: houses, rental property, retirement and pension plans, stock options, restricted stock, deferred compensation, brokerage accounts, closely-held businesses, professional practices and licenses, and more.
What marital property do you really want?
As financial advisors and divorce law specialists will tell you, in some cases, less is more. When you acquire your share of the marital property, or you are awarded in full any assets that you deemed were rightfully yours, you also take on the taxes and other related financial obligations.
What else goes into dividing assets?
Divorce.net points out that when deciding who gets what in a divorce, a number of factors are considered, including:
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s overall economic circumstances
- The desirability of allowing the couple’s minor children, or either spouse, to continue living in the marital home
- Each spouse’s contributions, including improvement of marital or non-marital assets, and contributions to the marriage either as an income-earner or as a parent or homemaker
- Whether either spouse interrupted a career or education during the marriage or contributed to the other spouse’s career or education
- Each spouse’s debts and liabilities
- Whether either spouse intentionally wasted or destroyed marital assets either after the divorce petition or within the two years preceding it.
How can you keep what you think is fair?
Divorce is complicated, and so is marital property law. If there are certain assets that might be considered marital property but that you believe shouldn’t be equally divided among you and your ex-spouse, then it’s best to work with an experienced family lawyer to make a case that will convince the courts. This kind of proof requires careful documentation that presents desired property as rightfully yours in full. Don’t risk missing out on keeping the assets that you deserve! Let The Law Office of Michael M. Raheb, P.A. help you successfully argue your case. From strategizing ways to lower your divorce costs, to helping you keep more of your valuable assets, we do everything in our power to help minimize the financial toll that your divorce takes on you. Call our office at 239-226-0888 or contact us online to get started on your case.
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Michael M. Raheb, P.A.
2423 First Street,
Fort Myers, FL 33901
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