Seeking legal advice from an experienced family law attorney early in the stages of a divorce can ensure that your rights are protected. Attorney Thomas R. Peppler has represented his clients’ legal needs and the local community for more than 40 years, achieving positive results in the complex and sensitive matters of divorce.
The nature of the property division process depends mostly on whether spouses file for a contested or uncontested divorce. If a divorce is uncontested, spouses can work with each other and the legal system to reach an agreement regarding the distribution of assets and debts. However, in a contested divorce, a family law court must take several steps to identify an equitable distribution of marital property.
First, the court must determine which property is marital and which property is separate. Under Florida Statutes, property is considered separate if a spouse acquired it before marriage, as an inheritance, or as a gift from someone besides the other spouse. Property purchased with separate proceeds is also usually considered separate property. All other assets and debts that a couple acquired while married are considered marital property and subject to equitable distribution.
When classifying and dividing property, family law courts must consider whether the divorcing spouses signed a premarital agreement. These agreements can dictate which property is classified as separate and how marital property is divided during a divorce. Family law courts generally must honor the provisions of a premarital agreement unless the agreement is unconscionable, was signed under duress, or was revoked via a written agreement between spouses.
All marital property must be distributed equitably if a couple lacks a premarital agreement or if this agreement does not address the division of marital assets and debts. Family law courts take several factors into account to identify an equitable arrangement, including:
During the property division process, there are several steps that spouses can take to protect their interests. These include checking that all marital assets have been accounted for and accurately presenting their own financial needs and marital contributions. Since both tasks may be difficult for people who lack legal experience, many spouses may benefit from consulting with an attorney. An attorney may offer advice on inventorying assets, documenting personal circumstances, and pursuing a more favorable property division.
The decision to dissolve a marriage causes a great deal of stress and uncertainty about the future. At Peppler Law P.A., we understand the sensitive issues surrounding divorce. Our focus is to provide long-term stability for our clients, financially and emotionally. We build close working relationships with our clients, keeping them informed about their options and their decisions’ financial consequences. Attorney Thomas R. Peppler has achieved an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating possible and distinguishes him from his peers. It is a testimony to his knowledge, professionalism, and integrity level.