St. Petersburg, FL – Investments are significant for most married couples because planning for retirement and the future often includes various forms of investing. However, these plans will need to be changed after a divorce if investments are divided between the two parties to the divorce and they do their separate ways. Under Florida law, investments are treated the same way as any other form of property or asset, and they may possibly be subject to division if they are considered marital property. This like retirement accounts, pensions, stocks, and annuities can be some of the most difficult kinds of property to divide through the courts, so legal help is recommended.
Marital versus non-marital property division
The property division phase of a divorce starts with a judge classifying all assets as either marital or nonmarital. Nonmarital property is also called separate property in some contexts. If one spouse can prove that investments or property were obtained before the marriage or outside of the marriage, they can keep the item and it will not be subject to division. However, anything that was obtained during the marriage or considered property of the marriage can be divided in an equitable manner by the judge. While judges try to keep an even split, there is no guarantee that each spouse will receive half of any asset that is divided.
With investments, there can also be an additional layer of complexity. Any kind of income source that is available during the marriage may be considered marital property. Sometimes, appreciation of an investment is classified as a source of income that is subject to division based on the investment’s appreciation during the course of the marriage.
Agreements regarding assets
Another way that investments can be divided is if the couple makes their own agreement related to property distribution. This is a favorable outcome because it means that there is no discretion from the courts and the couple can avoid the legal fees and uncertainty associated with court hearings. The court only needs to be presented with the agreement when it is finalized to become part of the divorce settlement. If the couple is close to an agreement but needs to negotiate, their lawyers can assist or possibly schedule a mediation session to work out the final details.
Divorce attorneys in St. Petersburg
The Law Offices of Yeazell and Sweet is a family law firm that helps clients in the St. Petersburg area during their divorces. A meeting with their attorneys is the best way to start the process to receive guidance throughout the course of the separation and property division issues.
Firm contact info:
1901 Ulmerton Road, Suite 435, Clearwater, FL 33762