No one usually goes into marriage thinking about the “what ifs” of divorce, but those who have found themselves materializing those “what ifs” might offer you this piece of solid advice: think ahead and be careful when classifying your marital assets. This is especially important advice in states like Florida, where equitable distribution is the law. So what exactly are marital assets, why should I be careful when classifying them, and what exactly does equitable distribution mean?
What is an asset? An asset is something valuable like the cash in your bank account, the car you drive to work everyday, the ring on your finger, and the house you live in. Assets are also more than just the tangible things you see and use everyday, but can also be gifts, inheritances, and stocks. If you earn any of these things in the course of your marriage, they become marital assets.
Why Should I Care about Classifying My Marital Assets?
“Life isn’t fair,” is a phrase that has been around a long time, especially when it comes to deciding what goes where and who gets what percentage. You do not have to search far to find a horror story of a spouse taking advantage of their partner. If you want fairness and fewer headaches, or prefer not to leave your hard-earned assets to chance by letting a court divvy them up, it is important you classify them.
What is the Best Way to Classify My Assets?
The safest and surest way to classify assets that insures you keep your rights to your assets in the event of a divorce is to have certified, legal documents proving these assets belong to you and are not up for discussion in the future.
What is Equitable Distribution?
Statute 61.075 is Florida’s official say on equitable distribution, but what it boils down to is that while the state will make every attempt to fairly and equally distribute assets, it is not guaranteed. Feel you contributed more? Classify your assets ahead of time! Do you have more to lose? Classify your assets! Prefer not to leave things to chance? Classify your assets!
In any event where two parties are sharing anything of value, it is important to plan ahead. A prepared lawyer can help with understanding the fine print when it comes to classifying your marital assets, and offer guidance in making the best decision to alleviate and avoid future problems.