Divorces can be nasty. Feelings of sadness, depression, anger, and frustration may be heightened among families. You may be concerned about your future. How will you begin a new life without your life partner? Where did you go wrong? Why is this happening to you?
Children may feel confused and lonely. And to make matters worse, you may be in a position to lose valuable assets that you have worked tirelessly for before and during your marriage. This stressful moment in your life does not have to be handled alone. Allow an experienced business and divorce attorney to protect your property and assets during this stressful time.
Business & Divorce Lawyer in Hollywood, FL
When two people wed, they often make vows to live, love and protect one another. What is not always explicitly stated during these festive ceremonies is the concept “what is mine is yours.” In other words, marriage often involves sharing and mutual ownership of financial assets and responsibilities (i.e. paying taxes). During a divorce, assets are measured and often distributed among both spouses. There are, however, technicalities to this rule.
Prenuptial agreements make divorces much easier. These contracts are drafted and signed before a couple weds. They specify the assets that are owned by each spouse and how these assets will be distributed in the event that the marriage fails. In most cases, prenuptial agreements leave each spouse with what they had before they married. Once both spouses sign the agreement, the contract becomes legally binding. The rights and responsibilities outlined in the contract guide the divorce process.
Non-Marital & Marital Property
For people who do not have prenuptial contracts to protect their financial assets and liabilities, family courts will weigh non-marital property and marital property.
- Non-Marital Property: Non-marital property usually includes assets that are acquired before the marriage. Most courts consider these assets to be independently owned. In other words, non-marital property usually returns to the spouse that rightfully acquired the assets before eloping.
- Marital Property: Marital property refers to assets that are acquired during a marriage. Most courts will assume that assets collected during the marriage were equally worked for. They will often distribute the assets equally.
Distribution of Business Property
Here is where it becomes tricky.
- If a spouse owns a business before marriage, he/she will most likely keep the business and the profits from it (even those made during the marriage). These assets will be considered non-marital property in a court of law.
- If a spouse has interests transferred from his/her business to his/her partner during the marriage, then the partner is entitled to that specified portion. The assets may be considered marital property in a court of law.
- If a business is expanded during a marriage, there are many things to consider. First, a family court will want to know where the source of funds to finance the expansion came from. If money from a jointly owned bank account is used to sponsor a spouse’s business, it may be considered marital property in a court of law. A business can often not be split down the middle, but a spouse may be granted a significant portion of the company’s profits.
If you are going through or considering a divorce, you should contact a trustworthy business and divorce attorney who will help you identify what you feel you are entitled to and collect information on:
- Tax returns,
- Bank statements,
- Insurance policies,
- Yearly and monthly salary information,
- Benefits programs,
- Other financial records to later utilize.
This will make your divorce process less tedious later down the road.
South Florida Business & Divorce Attorneys
Divorces can be messy but they do not have to be. Whether you feel that you are not gaining the compensation that you deserve after years of investing in a person and/or business, or whether you believe that you are significantly losing your hard-earned assets and property, a reliable business and divorce attorney can help.
At the Law Office of Theodore H. Enfield, we are proud to serve South Florida, including the areas surrounding Hollywood. We are well-versed in family law and divorce law. For over 35 years, we have been advocating for equal distribution of marital assets, debts, and property. We will protect your interests during this significant time in your life.
Let us help you.