Division of Debt and Assets

Bringing Experience, Attention & Powerful Advocacy to Your Case

Committed to Helping You Achieve Fair Division of Debt and Assets

Florida is an equitable distribution state. That means that all debts and assets acquired during the marriage should be divided fairly, though not necessarily 50 ‑ 50, as they would be in a community property state like California. The Law Offices of Andrew M. Smith, P.A. in Boca Raton, Florida, has experience in helping families divide the debts and assets of their married life, and protecting the rights of our clients.

We invite you to contact us by calling 561‑961-4665 or scheduling an appointment via e‑mail. If you prefer, you may schedule a  low cost initial consultation.

Attorney Andrew Smith understands how a divorce can and will impact your financial future. The Law Offices of Andrew M. Smith serves clients in Boca Raton, Florida, as well as throughout the entire South Florida area. Mr. Smith makes sure his clients understand that property division, unlike custody or support matters, cannot be modified at a later time. Once the order is entered, absent a showing of actual fraud by one of the parties, the property settlement is binding. This means you want to be absolutely certain all debts and assets have been discovered before your divorce judgment is finalized.

Debt Division

In Florida all assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage, often referred to as the “marital estate”, must be divided equitably or fairly.

Equitable distribution of assets may include:

  • The family home
  • A small business or practice
  • Car, vehicles or boats
  • Valuables such as jewelry, antiques or fine art
  • Debts must be included in an accounting of the marital estate and divided by the divorcing spouses, including:
  • Mortgages
  • Credit card debt
  • Home equity lines of credit
  • Vehicle loans

Protecting What You Contributed and Earned

At Andrew M. Smith, P.A., we have developed and negotiated property settlements and litigated complex equitable distribution cases by determining each parties’ contributions to assets obtained and liabilities incurred during the marriage, including:

  • Title to property and commingling of assets owned prior to the marriage
  • Duration of the marriage and its effect on determining marital and non‑marital assets and liabilities, including marital contributions to non‑marital assets
  • Desirability of maintaining the marital home as a resident for any dependent child of the marriage
  • A party’s misconduct, including fraud and intentionally destroying, dissipating, or hiding assets, is also considered in equitable distribution

Thorough Preparation of Your Property Settlement

Property rights established in a final dissolution order cannot be modified in the future based on changed circumstances. Attorney Smith’s background and experience means he knows what it takes to ensure that all aspects of your family law case, including financial matters, are fully developed prior to the final divorce decree. That often means teaming with forensic accountants and other financial experts to find hidden assets and accounts, to assess the value of business interests, or to fully and accurately analyze incomes pursuant to the domestic relations statutes.

Attorney Andrew Smith wants to protect your financial interests, so that you can keep more of what you have worked hard to build. He may work with forensic accountants or other financial or valuation experts to determine the fair market value of your debts and assets, and how much each party in the divorce contributed to both during the marriage.

In divorce all financial issues are on the table, and Attorney Smith negotiates and advocates for a positive outcome on behalf of his clients.

Contact Us

For more information on debt division or to schedule an appointment with a qualified debt division and divorce lawyer, please contact us.

The hiring of a Florida lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of an attorney/client relationship.

Can I refuse visitation if my ex-spouse fails to pay child support?
No. You cannot refuse visitation, if it has been ordered by the Court, because your ex-spouse has failed to pay child support. The failure of a party to follow a court order should be brought to the attention of the Court. Therefore, if your ex-spouse violates a court order to pay child support, that issue should be brought to the Court’s attention.
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There has been an order of child support in my case, but my circumstances have changed. Is it possible to have the child support order modified?
The Court will look at a change in circumstances of the parties through a petition to modify support. If there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the original order, the Court may modify the order, based on those changed circumstances.
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My spouse has always controlled our finances. He/She makes the money and I don’t have access to funds to pay for an attorney. What do I do?
Most attorneys require an initial retainer before they will start working on your case. Many attorneys accept credit cards. Once the case reaches the court system, the Court may require your spouse to pay for your attorney’s fees.
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What is mediation?
Mediation is a process where the two parties get together and attempt to negotiate a settlement between the two, rather than having the judge make the final decision. Mediation can save time, money and misery. A settlement is not required, however, simply because you agree to mediate.
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How is marital property divided in Florida?
As a general rule, in the state of Florida, property acquired during the marriage is split evenly, despite whose name the property is in. With any general rule, there are exceptions. The courts can change the percentage depending on the parties’ specific circumstances.
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What if my spouse is hiding or misrepresenting his assets?
Each party must sign a sworn financial affidavit. If your spouse is hiding or misrepresenting his assets, you may be entitled to compensation relating to those hidden assets.
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