What Can You Protect from Equitable Distribution in Florida?

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Above I mentioned types of assets that the state of Florida allows you to exempt from the equitable distribution process, but I thought it was worthwhile to go into a bit more detail on each of them here so that you have a clear idea of what I’m talking about.

As an Orlando divorce attorney, I often run across clients who either have no idea that they are even able to protect anything and end up giving their ex more than they need… or people who think they should be able to hold onto everything and not even make it an issue. Obviously, neither one of these beliefs are true, and after reading this I hope you have a much clearer sense of what actually can be made exempt.

Speak with an experienced Florida attorney at our firm today.
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Assets Generally Exempt from Equitable Distribution

The basic rule is this: if you owned something before you got married or if you received it as a gift during your marriage, and these assets were kept separate from the marriage, it doesn’t necessarily have to be split up with your spouse. Here are some more specific examples of this.

Inheritance. You know this one from watching the video. If someone dies and leaves money specifically to you, this does not have to be shared with your ex when you break up.

Your car. Let’s say you owned your car before marrying your spouse. Unless you change the title to put their name on it, that car belongs to you and you alone. And a car just as an example. This could just as easily apply to a boat, a house, your expensive jewelry collection, or even all those neon beer signs you kept from your college dorm room.

Season tickets from friends. If you really love the symphony or the Dolphins and some friends chipped in and bought you season passes, they belong to you – not your spouse. Of course, the gift has to be intended specifically for you for this to apply.

Rental property. Did you own a condo before getting married and decide to keep it and rent it out? Well, as long as you didn’t use any of those earnings to pay off joint bills, or marital money was not used to support the condo, the property should be considered exempt. Unfortunately, what often happens is that the person who owns the rental property tends to put the income in a joint retirement account or use it to cover part of the mortgage for their new house.

College loans. Here’s a bad one – just as pre-marriage assets can’t be divided, the same is true for any loans or debts you had beforehand.

Equitable Distribution and Relevant Factors

The court considers many factors in the division of property. If you really want to know what counts in your specific situation, sit down with a good Orlando divorce attorney and go over everything. Equitable distribution is a complex issue that requires an expert hand.

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