Both sides in a property division would like to claim the maximum amount of non-marital assets, and the minimum amount of non-marital debt, as they are kept separate from the division. The law requires that non-marital assets must be substantiated and proven. The burden of proving an asset or debt is non-marital is always upon the spouse making the claim.
Quite often, the owner of the non-marital asset knows that the asset is hers, or his. But proving this to the court's satisfaction without records or receipts requires the participation of an astute property division lawyer like Christian Smed.
Without proper evidence that an asset or debt is separate from the marital property, the other spouse may be given half of its value.
When Balance Doesn't Occur — Equalizing Payments
When the list of marital assets and debts is complete, items can be divided between the two spouses until all are accounted for, and the value on both sides are balanced and equalized.
If the two sides can't be brought into balance, it may be necessary for the side with greater assets to balance the division by making an equalizing payment. These payments can be made through a variety of way including home refinancing or payouts from retirement monies.
Commingled assets are those that start out as separate from marital property, prior to the marriage, but are then, after the marriage is underway, mixed in with marital assets. This happens commonly with cash, check and savings accounts, as couples pool their resources to make a life together.
Can the money (or other assets) be separated from marital property once it has been commingled? Yes, but it may require some detective work to trace the money back to its point of origin. Lawyer Chris Smed can talk to you about what you need to prove the assets began as your separate assets. With today's improved access globally to financial accounts, it is easier to produce records of deposits and withdrawals, even those made years ago.
Contact the Orlando, Florida, lawyers for commingled assets advocacy at Christian D. Smed, P.A., at 407-901-4750.
Inheritances In Property Division
Florida law regards inheritances — money or other property received on the death of a relative — as separate property, not to be included as a marital asset. Thus inheritances are kept separate from the division of property, even if the inheritance was received during the couple's marriage.
But nothing under the law is ever simple. Inheritances can become community property in certain cases. If you inherit land or a home, for instance, it is important to check the filing status of the property, to make sure it is under your name. If the other spouse invests money in inherited property during the marriage, that spouse may be entitled to reimbursement or partial ownership.
Whatever your situation, you need to consult with an experienced inheritance attorney to determine the status of your property. In the Orlando metro, we suggest calling Christian D. Smed, P.A. in Winter Park, via email or at 407.644.2978.for experienced counsel on all inheritance matters.
CHRISTIAN D. SMED, P.A. 941 West Morse Boulevard, Suite 100, Winter Park, Florida, 32789