You will most likely have a lot of questions regarding how your assets and liabilities will be distributed. Florida law starts with the premise that the “marital assets” and “marital liabilities” should be distributed equally. However, there are instances where an unequal distribution is warranted, especially where there has been a dissipation of assets. The challenge is properly identifying and valuing the “marital assets” and “marital liabilities.” While some cases are fairly straight forward, some become quite complicated especially where there are significant “non-marital” or business assets. It also becomes complicated when one party has dissipated and/or misused “marital assets.” Thus, it is essential you have an attorney familiar with these issues and one that has the experience necessary to implement the discovery to be able to properly value the “marital estate.” That is why the Heskin Martinez Law Group’s team has a paralegal with forensic accounting experience to give you the best chance of discovering and properly valuing all the “marital assets.”
Once the “marital assets and liabilities” are identified and valued the Court will consider the following factors in effectuating an equitable distribution scheme:
The contribution to the marriage by each spouse, including contributions to the care and education of the children and services as homemaker
The economic circumstances of each spouse
The length of the marriage
Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either spouse
The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse
The desirability of retaining any asset, including an interest in a business, corporation, or professional practice, intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party
The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of, or the incurring of liabilities to, both the marital assets and the non-marital assets of the parties
The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage
The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition
The valuation of marital businesses can be particularly difficult and it is essential that you have an attorney familiar with presenting the Court with a value that separates out the personal good will of the party that is retaining the business. A number of attorneys have been unable to do so which has resulted in minimal value being attributed to the marital business. The attorneys of the Heskin Martinez Law Group have been successful in presenting the necessary information to the Court and are familiar with the valuation methods necessary to do so.
Separating out “non-marital” assets and liabilities. Often there are non-marital assets that need to be separated from the marital estate which can involve issues relating to co-mingling and valuing the marital appreciation.
While most attorneys can handle basic equitable distribution issues, when complex asset distribution is an issue, it is essential to have an attorney with experience presenting these issues to the Court. The Heskin Martinez Law Group has over 20 years of experience evaluating and presenting complex asset distribution issues.
Please call us if you have any questions about Complex Asset Distribution. Call us at 407-403-5990 or contact us (below) to schedule your appointment.