If you are going through a divorce, it is important to understand how your assets can be divided. Division of family property can be a difficult task, especially when there are significant assets involved, such as houses, rental property, stock options, retirement and pension plans, brokerage accounts, businesses, restricted stock, professional practices, and deferred compensation. Making decisions regarding who should get what can be a challenge even under the most agreeable situations.
First and foremost, it is important to understand the difference between separate property and marital property. Separate property is generally the property that was owned by either spouse prior to the marriage. Any inheritance property received by the husband or wife, before or after the marriage, also comes under separate property if not commingled with marital property. Other types of separate property may include a gift received by the husband or wife from a third party, payment received for pain and suffering portion in a personal injury judgment, etc.
Marital property is typically property that is acquired during the marriage, regardless of which spouse owns the property or how that property is titled. This kind of property usually consists of all income and assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage, such as stock options, pension plans, IRAs and other retirement plans, deferred compensation, life insurance, country club equity memberships, brokerage accounts, bank accounts, real estate, professional practices, tax refunds, cars, boats, jewelry, antiques, and more.
Even separate property can come under the category of marital property when you combine it with marital property or vice versa. Also, whether property has gone up or down in value since it was acquired can be a very complicated factor, such as when a house appreciates but is also refinanced during the marriage. So when it comes to dividing the assets, the process can seem confusing. In such a situation, an experienced Boca divorce lawyer can help to make this complicated process easier.
On the whole, division of assets can be an extremely complicated process. Having a excellent divorce attorney on your side can help you get your fair share.