Archive: April 2022

April 28, 2022

Property Division during a Divorce in Florida

Property division is among the most significant concerns in a divorce. For many, this step can be emotion-filled. People are protective of their assets, and not only do you want to fight for your right to the things you own, but you may also want the whole ordeal to be over.

If you are filing for divorce in Florida, it’s important that you know the law regarding property division and how it can potentially affect how your divorce goes. Here’s what you need to know:

Equitable Division

The law in Florida states that a property must be divided on an equitable division standard in a divorce. This means assets acquired while the couple was married, regardless of who purchased the asset, will be divided fairly and justly. These assets are called marital property. Those that do not belong to this category are considered separate property.

Separate property refers to assets brought into a marriage by a spouse who owned the assets before the marriage.  It also includes assets discussed in the terms of a prenup agreement.

That said, some assets acquired during the marriage may still be considered separate property. For instance, if a spouse’s relative passes away and leaves that spouse inheritance or a gift in their will. That gift is considered separate property even if it’s received during the marriage.

Is It Possible for Separate Property to Become Marital Property?

In some instances, some assets could become marital property even if they would be typically considered separate property. One example is if a spouse is a homeowner prior to their marriage and they divorced, the home’s value will be calculated. If it increases, the difference between the home’s current value and its value at the time of its purchase would be considered marital property.

Similarly, if separate funds were used to purchase a family home or any community property, that would be classified as marital property. The same goes if both spouses have equal access to those assets throughout their marriage.

What Is Debt Division

It is not only assets that are divided during a divorce. Debt is also handled during property division and divided in a fashion similar to assets. Credit card debt and other types of debt accrued during the marriage are considered marital and are therefore divided equitably.

On the other hand, debt brought into the marriage is considered separate unless both spouses put effort into paying off that debt, which could be viewed as marital.

What Are Complex Assets?

Property division can indeed be complicated, especially when real estate and liquid assets are involved. On top of that, though, there are complex assets that need to be dealt with, including retirement accounts, multiple real estate properties, businesses, digital assets, and others.  If you are dealing with such complex assets, it’s even more critical to work with a seasoned high-asset divorce attorney who knows exactly what to do in such situations.

Conclusion

Dorsey Law JAX is a reputable law firm offering the legal services of some of the best Jacksonville attorneys who specialize in family law. Dorsey Law JAX is here for you if you are looking for the best divorce attorney to help you get through your divorce and handle property division for you. Contact us today to set up an initial consultation!

April 24, 2022

Qualities to Look for in Your Florida Divorce Lawyer

Going through a divorce can be a challenging time in your life, and you need to have a professional on your side who will fight hard on your behalf. Here are some qualities to look for in your Florida divorce lawyer:

Experience

This is important because your attorney will be representing you throughout your divorce, not just a couple of months. They should be able to handle all relevant issues and guide you through the process. You need someone who has the experience to handle any contingency. Make sure your Florida divorce lawyer has experience with the local courts and laws that apply to your divorce. 

Ethics

A good divorce attorney will also have a professional and honest outlook on the divorce process and be focused on doing the best for you. They will help you reach a mutually beneficial settlement for both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. A good lawyer will work with you to resolve any issues that may arise through negotiation or mediation.

Flexibility

Because your life is in a state of change, you need a flexible attorney who can work around your schedule, whether it is by phone, mail, or in person. Your lawyer should be flexible enough to reach an agreement beneficial for you.

Good Communication Skills

You need an attorney who will explain the process and legal aspects in plain English. They should be able to answer your questions and provide you with the information you need to make educated decisions. Your lawyer should also be responsive to your phone calls and emails and return them promptly. Divorce is a complicated process, and you will need to talk about everything with your lawyer. They should always keep you informed on the progress of your case.

Intelligence

Your lawyer should be smart and knowledgeable enough to negotiate the best settlement possible and work towards a settlement you are comfortable with. If you are going through a divorce, you need to choose a lawyer who can help you navigate the complicated process.

Reputation

Any good lawyer will have a good reputation and should be able to show you references of clients who were satisfied with their services. They should also have a good relationship with the other attorneys involved in your case.

Credentials

A licensed divorce attorney must be an attorney at law. There is a difference between having a few years of experience and having an established career. A successful divorce lawyer must have a good track record, so when searching for an attorney, look for credentials.

Empathy

This is extremely important because you’re going through a difficult time. You need someone to understand you and what you’re going through. Your divorce attorney needs to listen to your side of the story. You should have a partner to help you through this process, not just an attorney.

Conclusion

Divorce can be a frustrating and difficult process for anyone. It is crucial to have an attorney who will work hard to ensure you get the best results. A good divorce lawyer should be able to handle all of the critical aspects of your divorce so you don’t have to alone.

If you need a family lawyer in Florida, trust Dorsey Law JAX. We are composed of top Jacksonville attorneys specializing in family law, criminal law, and personal injury. Contact us now. 

April 12, 2022

Divorce Law 101: All You Need to Know about Divorce Mediation

The process of getting divorced can weigh heavily on your financial status and mental health, as it’s quite a costly procedure that can put so much stress on your shoulders. Therefore, divorce mediation may be a viable solution for couples who are on good terms and are willing to come to an agreement or settlement with each other.

If you’re looking to use divorce mediation as a method for marriage dissolution, here’s all you need to know about it:

What Is Divorce Mediation?

The process of divorce mediation is a system in which a married couple comes together to dissolve their marriage through a mutual agreement with the help of a third-party mediator. Contrary to popular belief, the mediator doesn’t act as a judge when they are present in the discussion. They actually act more like a peacekeeper than a referee. They don’t have the authority to order the couple to do anything. They are just there to ensure that the process is civil, legal, and safe for both parties.

Divorce mediation is less expensive, less stressful, and much faster than a divorce trial, which is why many couples opt to go with this option instead of taking the case to court. It’s not unusual to see a couple decide to not break up after going through this process, as it gives them both a chance to hear each other out.

What If There Are Kids Involved?

When there are children involved in the case, the nature of the mediation process will naturally become more complicated. The mediator in these cases will shift their focus from the parents to the children, as their wellbeing is paramount. For this reason, the mediator needs to know the basics of child custody, child support, visitation time, and more. They need to be able to tell whether the child’s best interests are being represented or not, as that will ensure the process is done legally and with as little impact on the child’s life as possible. 

How Does Mediation Work?

Divorce mediation is done in many sessions, where the terms for each section of the divorce are discussed and agreed upon. This includes alimony, child custody, child support, and property division. The process may or may not involve a lawyer, as the initial processes will only have to do with the drafting process of the final divorce agreement. You can then bring the draft to your lawyer so they can check if it’s fair to you or not.

Mediation doesn’t have a time limit, which means that it can go on for years, or it can be done within weeks, depending on the complexity of the case.

Will Divorce Mediation Work in My Case?

Typically, if you are on good terms with your spouse and the cause of the divorce has nothing to do with abuse, adultery, or fraudulence, mediation is the way to go. It helps avoid further conflict and allows you to save money and time. Additionally, if you have children, you won’t have to put them through a heated court case, which can have a long-lasting impact on their development into adulthood.

Despite what the mainstream media wants to tell us, many people who are looking to get a divorce are on much better terms with one another than you imagine. The separation is usually caused by a lack of communication or understanding, which is why meditation is such a popular option.

Dorsey Law JAX has the best family attorneys in Jacksonville, FL. We also specialize in criminal law and personal injury. If you need help determining the terms and conditions of child support, get in touch with us today.

April 5, 2022

5 Common Mistakes People Make in a High Net Worth Divorce

When two people with a high net worth get a divorce, the procedure becomes exponentially more difficult owing to the magnitude of the assets that must be found, valued, and split. Furthermore, high net worth couples may face additional challenges when determining custody, child support, and alimony matters because higher income levels mean that the basic calculations that the state produces are no longer the presumptive amounts, and there are many ways support can be calculated that result in many different amounts.

Given the numerous moving parts involved in the dissolution of these marriages, it is critical to be aware of the frequent mistakes to avoid during a high net worth divorce that might adversely influence the outcome of your case.

Avoid the Mistake of Hiding Assets or Debts in a High Net Worth Divorce

Another serious mistake to avoid during a high-net-worth divorce is attempting to hide any assets or property from the other spouse. In most high-asset divorces, each spouse’s counsel may consult with a jointly or individually engaged forensic accountant to ensure that all assets are appropriately found and valued. As a result, attempting to conceal any holdings by failing to disclose them in the belief that they would be overlooked may not only be useless, but may also expose an offending individual to legal penalties in some situations, as well as a court awarding the non-offending spouse a greater distribution.

Accepting a Settlement Offer to Speed up the Process

Divorce is never an enjoyable experience. Emotions and stress levels can (and typically do) soar. Sometimes you just want to agree to whatever your spouse proposes for a property settlement so you can cut connections and move on with your life. This, however, may not be in your best interests.

You may have agreed to take too little or too much spousal and child support, and you may be receiving less than your fair share of assets. Furthermore, the future tax effects of your actions may not be noticeable right away, but unfavorable consequences may follow you for years.

Your divorce attorney will play a key role in helping ensure assets and liabilities are divided in a way that is in your best interest.

Avoid Lavish Expenditures During Your Divorce

In a high-net-worth divorce, both parties have a lot riding on the case’s outcomes. As a result, some high-net-worth spouses wrongly feel that by spending lavishly before filing for divorce, they may raise the alimony they may be entitled to, keep the expensive objects as part of their settlement, or simply try to keep that amount of money out of the final division. However, it is essential to note that this strategy is risky. 

If you are caught spending lavishly before it is time, your spouse’s attorney has the right to ask for punitive damages for any unreasonable expenditures. Furthermore, your attorney may require you to disclose any pre-divorce expenditures, and the judge may end up attributing the money to your spouse.

Assuming Your Divorce Needs to Be Difficult

Anger and years of frustration may lead to nasty conflicts in many high-net-worth divorces. However, don’t expect your divorce to be a protracted struggle with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. If you and your attorney can reach an agreement in your best interests, you may be able to avoid the time and money that might come with unnecessary litigation.

Not Using a Skilled Divorce Lawyer

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that all divorce lawyers are the same. Although your coworker or brother may have had a positive experience with their attorney years ago, it is critical to select an attorney with whom you are comfortable working and who has the abilities and resources to assist you properly.

Conclusion

The stakes are high in any high net worth divorce, and it is essential to consult a skilled attorney to help ensure you do not fall victim to common high net worth divorce mistakes.

If you’re looking for the top Jacksonville attorneys specializing in family law, reach out to the Dorsey Law firm. With over 35 years of experience, we can provide you with help with your prenup and more. Contact us today at (904) 394-2865 for a consultation.

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