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Understanding property division during divorce

Although divorce is common today, many couples who have decided to end a relationship have no idea where to begin once the decision is made. They are unsure what happens to their property and assets when the petition to divorce is filed. Those who have assets that they inherited or brought into the marriage may be worried that the division of marital property ordered by family court will force them to split assets that are solely in their name.

Generally, however, a court will not consider separate assets in the division of property during divorce proceedings, so individuals will retain their rightful property. However, experts caution that many people make the mistake of putting an inheritance or assets and property acquired prior to a marriage in the names of both themselves and their spouse. If this happens, the property or assets in question become joint marital property and will be divided accordingly. This is considered transmutation of property. Be warned however, that laws vary from state to state, and in some jurisdictions, an estranged spouse living on the property is enough to consider it marital property.

Equity accrued during a marriage also goes by another set of rules. While a particular property may be solely the property of one spouse, the equity is divisible during a divorce.

A divorce brings with it a host of emotions, including uncertainty and fear. Those who are ending their marriage in Florida and may be facing complex property division should consult an attorney who has knowledge about property laws and divorce. Show a divorce lawyer all of the proper documentation regarding a property's worth and ownership prior to entering into divorce proceedings.

Source: Opposing Views, "Can a Spouse Take Equity From an Inherited Property?," Beverly Bird

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