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Marital, non-marital property: can be key with retirement accounts

Your Florida divorce is imminent after a number of years of marriage. You've worked together to accumulate some significant assets, including equity in your home, perhaps another real estate holding, myriad personal possessions,  cash holdings, some retirement accounts, an investment portfolio and other savings vehicles.

Now, here's the central question: How do you value all that and divide it equitably? How does property division work when it is not immediately clear what belongs to you outright, what your soon-to-be former partner can claim or what the two of you together own in some fashion?

And here's the answer that is generally applicable: In most cases, and especially after a marriage of some lasting tenure, it might not be readily apparent as to who owns exactly what, and that uncertainty is the overriding reason why divorcing parties often enlist the services of a family law attorney with a deep background and solid experience in handling asset division matters during divorce.

Coming into marriage, each partner sometimes brings an asset -- inherited money, for example; perhaps a home or savings account -- that is deemed as non-marital property not subject to equitable distribution in a divorce proceeding. Typically, the value of such asset (and any appreciated value during marriage) will remain the property of that one divorcing spouse. Other property that was accumulated by a couple together -- marital property -- will need to be properly valued and equitably distributed.

Doing all that correctly often takes the practiced eye and strong legal acumen of an experienced property division attorney, especially when a variety of assets, including various retirement accounts, feature in a divorce.

An experienced Florida property division attorney can respond to questions and concerns.

Source: Lawyers.com, "Who gets the retirement accounts in a divorce?" Janet Raasch, May 29, 2013

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