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Protecting Personal Assets During a Contentious Divorce

Hiding your assets is ill-advised and illegal, so don’t do it. You can protect things that are clearly your assets and put them in a safe place. You can also clearly mark your assets or create some documentation to outline your assets. Knowing what you can do and what crosses the line can be difficult, so here are a few steps you can take to keep your assets protected during your divorce.

When a married couple files for divorce in Florida, there will be an “equitable distribution” or the division of marital assets and liabilities. See Florida divorce law 61.075. Usually, the court will divide marital assets and liabilities 50/50 unless there are factors that would make an equal split inequitable. Usually, the first step is to determine if the asset or debt is marital or separate property. Only marital property/ debt is subject to equitable distribution by a court.

Divorce can be a stressful and frightening time; it is the end of a marriage. There is a lot at stake in the outcome and especially for high asset divorce cases. There are unique challenges to a divorce when the parties involved have a substantial net worth. In cases such as these, it is crucial to hire an attorney who knows the law and can understand complex financial investments. Additionally, you will want an attorney who has a good reputation with expert witnesses to be used in your case. Typical witnesses include forensic accountants, auditors, appraisers, and social investigators. If you need assistance with a divorce, call Florida Law Advisers to speak with a high asset divorce attorney in Tampa.

  • Earmark What’s Yours: In Florida, you have some flexibility in your asset statement because we’re not a community property state. Your assets will be divided according to equitable distribution laws, which can be reviewed in Chapter 61 Section 075 – 2011 of the Florida Statutes. If you brought something into the marriage that was your sole property, then earmark it and be prepared to show documentation to the fact. If something is in your name and isn’t shared with your partner, then you should prepare documentation and outline anything that wouldn’t be included in your marital property.
  • Compile Financial Statements: You need documentation of your financial picture or situation. The court cannot rule effectively on your divorce and asset division without evidence of your assets. You need to compile financial statements to support any claims of sole ownership. Don’t let your assumptions fail you. If you know you own it and think it’s obvious, it’s always safer to have documentation to support your claims. In addition to claims of sole ownership, you should also compile statements of any joint accounts to create a benchmark. Neither spouse should be spending large sums during the divorce when possible as it muddies the waters as professionals work to balance your affairs.
  • Hire People to Know What You Don’t Know: The job of a professional who specializes in a field is to watch out for the details, so you don’t have to know everything. For example, an attorney’s job is to know the law and regulations, so you don’t need to know everything. When you hire an attorney, you are hiring someone who knows the system and procedures so you can proceed with confidence that your position is being represented. If you aren’t great with financial issues and struggle to understand what’s being discussed during property division, you should consider hiring a financial advisor or an attorney with financial expertise. Surrounding yourself with a team of professionals can help you protect your assets and financial security during your divorce.

Beatriz Zyne, P.A. can work with you to develop a strategy for your Miami divorce case. Call our office now at (305) 876-6138 to schedule a consultation.