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As of 2016, there were 2,245,404 marriages in the United States. There were 827,261 divorces or annulments. Statistically speaking, around half of all marriages end in divorce. If it is someone’s second or third marriage, the likelihood of a divorce increases.

Patrick Cordero can help you out with family law. As part of our dedication to you, we want you to understand what happens after a divorce.

First Concerns

Prenuptials, also known as prenups, are becoming more common. This agreement stipulates how property is divided if a couple separates. This is a legal contract. In this document, couples can establish who gets what, precisely, after a divorce.

This can include who gets assets like a house, property, or money. It can also control who is in charge of taking care of kids. Sometimes, people include a morality clause. This means if one person cheats and admits to it, they lose some or all property rights.

You can get one of these agreements after you have been married. In these cases, it is called a postnuptial agreement. These are legally valid documents and operate the same way prenuptial agreements do.

Neither prenuptial nor postnuptial agreements can violate the law. This means that a prenuptial agreement cannot regulate things like child support. Even if you waive the right to child support, that is not going to be valid in court. In addition, all of your property must be accounted for.

If you do not disclose a bank account or a piece of property you own, then you risk not knowing what will happen to that asset. People must list all property that they own in these documents.

If a prenup or postnuptial was signed ‘under duress’ it may not be considered legally valid. When one person puts an extreme amount of pressure on the other, that may be considered duress. For example, if one person says that they will not go through with the marriage should the other party not sign the prenuptial agreement, then it may not be considered legally binding. The judge can choose to throw it out.

How Assets are Divided

Florida law requires a fair and equitable division of property during a divorce. They will not give any advantage to women or men.

A judge considers various factors when dividing assets. They include, but are not limited to:

  • How long the marriage lasted
  • The economic circumstances of both spouses
  • Interruptions in either spouse’s careers
  • Contributions to the marriage, i.e. taking care of a home
  • Contributions to marital and non-marital assets

As part of this, judges will consider the monetary value at the time, as well as future income. For instance, if someone owns an apartment block which is expected to generate rent, then the future value of the rent will be weighed when dividing assets.

Before, we mentioned marital and non-marital assets. Marital property is property that has been acquired during the marriage with marital funds or labor. If a couple bought a house together, this may be considered to be marital property. Other assets, such as pension benefits, stock options, or workers’ compensation benefits might also be judged as marital property.

Non-marital property is property that was acquired before the marriage. This property needs to have kept its value to be considered non-marital. Non-marital property can become marital property if it is commingled, or the value is increased due to marital labor.

Non-marital property may not be divided, depending on the circumstances. Marital property is distributed as evenly as possible.

In some cases, couples split amicably. They can sit down and decide who gets what after a divorce. Their agreement is legally binding, and has an impact for years.

In other instances, couples are not on speaking terms when they split up, or they cannot agree on who should get what. When this happens, they go to court so a judge decides who is getting what. This option is difficult for most people, because they are not sure what they will and will not be getting.

No matter what your circumstances are, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney. They can help you out concerning how your property gets split up. A good lawyer can tell you what you can reasonably get, and can also negotiate a better deal for you.

Patrick Cordero can help you out today. He is an experienced, reliable, and relatable attorney. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us now.