Property Division Serving Families In Palm Beach & Surrounding Areas and Throughout Florida

Palm Beach Gardens Property Division Attorney

Serving Palm Beach & Surrounding Communities Throughout Florida

The legal term for dividing marital property and debt is “equitable distribution.” Equitable distribution requires identifying all assets and debts of the spouses and categorizing them as either marital or non-marital. A determination is then made as to the value of the marital assets and debts, which are ultimately divided between the divorcing spouses.

Marital assets can may include real estate, cars, bank accounts, pensions, businesses, and much more. John F. Schutz, P.L. has a successful history of tracking down marital assets – which is particularly helpful when clients are unaware of their spouse’s true net worth.

We are also experts in complex valuation issues and the distribution of business assets – from small family-run businesses to international corporations.

Changes in property ownership as a result of divorce can have considerable tax implications. Many West Palm Beach divorce lawyers are unfamiliar with the tax consequences of divorce. John F. Schutz, P.L. will advise you on your personal tax consequences, and even provide you an analysis of the fees charged for such advice and services (which may be tax deductible).

What are marital assets and liabilities?

Marital assets and liabilities include:

  1. Assets acquired and liabilities incurred during the marriage, individually by either spouse or jointly by them.
  2. The enhancement in value and appreciation of nonmarital assets resulting either from the efforts of either party during the marriage or from the contribution to or expenditure thereon of marital funds or other forms of marital assets, or both.
  3. Gifts given from one spouse to another.
  4. All vested and nonvested benefits, rights, and funds accrued during the marriage in retirement, pension, profit sharing, annuity, deferred compensation, and insurance plans and programs.

Does equitable distribution imply marital assets and debts will be divided equally?

Court proceedings start with the premise that marital assets will be divided equally. But in fact, the law does not require equal division of marital assets. Upon consideration of 10 different factors, the court may (and often does) order an unequal or skewed distribution. These factors include things such as the contribution each spouse makes to the marriage (including the care of the children as a homemaker), length of marriage and the intentional waste of marital assets.

What if my spouse has wasted our marital assets?

In developing an equitable distribution schedule, the Court will take into consideration any dissipation of marital assets and, if necessary, award unequal distribution in favor of the non-offending spouse.

What happens to my non-marital assets?

When considering the equitable distribution of assets, the Court will set apart to each party their respective non-marital assets and liabilities. However, it is your burden to prove that an asset or liability is non-marital. Even if your non-marital assets are set aside, the court may consider those assets when awarding attorney fees, alimony and child support.

What is the cut-off date for determining what is a marital asset and liability?

Absent the parties being in agreement to some other date, the Court is bound to determine the cut-off of martial assets and liabilities as of the date of filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage.

How Can a Property Division Attorney Help Me?

A property division attorney can help you navigate the process of dividing assets and debts during a divorce or separation. Here are some ways they can assist you:

  • Understanding Your Rights: A property division attorney can explain your rights under the law regarding the division of marital assets and debts. They can help you understand what property is considered marital property and what is considered separate property.
  • Negotiation: An attorney can negotiate with your spouse's attorney or mediator to reach a fair and equitable division of assets and debts. They will advocate for your interests and work to ensure that you receive your fair share of the marital property.
  • Asset Valuation: Some assets, such as real estate, businesses, and investments, may need to be valued before they can be divided. An attorney can help you navigate this process and ensure that assets are valued accurately.
  • Drafting Legal Documents: A property division attorney can help you draft the necessary legal documents to formalize the division of assets and debts, such as a property settlement agreement or a court order.
  • Court Representation: If you are unable to reach an agreement with your spouse, your attorney can represent you in court. They will present your case to the judge and advocate for a fair division of assets and debts based on the relevant laws and evidence.
  • Enforcement: If your spouse fails to comply with the terms of the property division agreement or court order, your attorney can help you enforce your rights through legal means.

Overall, a property division attorney can help you navigate the complex legal issues surrounding the division of assets and debts during a divorce or separation, ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive a fair settlement.

Contact an Experienced Property Division Attorney

It is important to hire a lawyer to help you with the marital property division process. John F. Schutz, P.L. has the knowledge and experience to help you reach an equitable settlement. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

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Hear From Our Happy Clients

"Genius divorce lawyer"

John Schutz is a brilliant lawyer. Not only did Mr. Schutz do an excellent job cleaning up the mess from the previous lawyer, he in my estimation was key in me ultimately obtaining a very good outcome. I had a very contentious divorce and the opposing lawyer was very unprofessional and somewhat abusive. Mr. Schutz through his professionalism and excellent people skills was able to reign in the opposing attorney's unprofessional conduct. Mr. Schutz ran circles around the opposing attorney as he was always prepared and was quick on his feet. He is well worth the money in my opinion. Due to his skill and the ability to outclass the opposing attorney, a trial was avoided which ultimately would have been far more costly. Highly recommend.

- Elizabeth
  • Florida Bar - Board Certified, Marital and Family Law
  • The International Academy of Family Lawyers
  • The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML)
  • Super Lawyers
  • AV Rated, by Martindale-Hubbel
  • “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Lawyer of the Year 2023
  • Best Lawyers 2024

Why Choose John F. Schutz, P.L.?

  • Member of the AAML

    As a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, we aim to improve the quality of family law practice for clients.

  • Meet With Us Virtually Or At Our Office
    With virtual consultations, it's easier than ever to get started.
  • Family Law Is All We Do
    We're exclusively focused on handling family law cases.

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