Can I Keep Property I Had Before The Marriage?
Your great grandmother’s favorite bracelet, or your granddad’s collection of baseball cards hold sentimental value and are things you want to hold on to after a divorce. These types of property are things you consider your separate property, as opposed to the marital home or vehicles acquired during a marriage. So, when you divorce, an important question of property division becomes who gets what and can you keep what you believe to be your separate property?
In Florida, property is divided under a system called equitable distribution. What this means is that the Court divides property in an equitable way. This does not mean property is divided equally, it means the Judge decides what is fair. When deciding what is fair, the Court will consider each case on its own facts and look at:
- 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 the parties.
● The duration of the marriage.
● Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party.
● 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 nonmarital assets of the parties.
● The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage, or any other party, when it would be equitable to do so, it is in the best interest of the child or that party, and it is financially feasible for the parties to maintain the residence until the child is emancipated or until exclusive possession is otherwise terminated by a court of competent jurisdiction. In making this determination, the court shall first determine if it would be in the best interest of the dependent child to remain in the marital home; and, if not, whether other equities would be served by giving any other party exclusive use and possession of the marital home.
● 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 Court will also take into account any other circumstances unique to your case. When seeking certain items, it is important to remember the above factors will be considered, and you must present your side of the story in a light most favorable to you. The skilled family law attorneys at The Ferraro Law Group are experienced in presenting your case to the Court and arguing for property distribution that gets the results you want.
For questions about divorce and property division, call an experienced family law attorney for help. We review the facts of your case and develop a plan to resolve your issues. Call today to schedule an appointment.