Are Personal Belongings Subject To Marital Asset Division In Divorce?
Over the course of your marriage, you and your spouse likely accumulated a significant amount of material possessions. This includes personal belongings used by one or the other of you exclusively. These types of items are subject to marital asset division when getting a divorce in Fort Lauderdale. Find out more about how they are divided and the steps you need to take to ensure they are included in your divorce case.
Including Personal Belongings In Your Divorce
Under Section 61.075 of the Florida Statutes, all marital property earned, acquired, or otherwise accumulated over the course of the marriage is to be divided on an equitable basis during a divorce. Unlike in a community property state, where all property and assets are divided equally between divorcing spouses, the judge will consider various factors to determine a settlement that is fair to both parties. This includes the length of your marriage, each person’s individual income and assets, and their overall contributions to the relationship.
Marital property and assets typically include items such as your home, cars, furniture, household belongings, artwork, and antiques, as well as money in bank accounts, investments, and retirement benefits. It also includes smaller yet still valuable personal belongings or those used exclusively by either you or your partner, which are subject to equitable division but can easily get overlooked, such as:
- Furniture, electronics, and other items kept in a ‘man cave’ or ‘she shed’;
- Furs, jewelry, designer shoes or handbag collections, leather goods, and other items of apparel;
- Sports and recreational equipment, including motorcycles, boats, and fishing or hiking gear;
- Household tools and landscaping equipment;
- Hobby items and personal collectibles, such as dolls or baseball cards.
Protect Your Rights Regarding Personal Belongings In A Divorce Settlement
In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse may reach your own agreements regarding personal belongings. In more contested cases, ownership of even the smallest items may need to be negotiated. In either situation, taking the following steps in regards to personal belongings can help to protect you and your rights in any divorce settlements:
- Make an inventory of all personal belongings you and your spouse possess;
- Get approximate values for each item, either via a professional valuation or through website such as eBay;
- Consider what you or your spouse might be willing to trade in order to keep certain personal items;
- Make sure to include personal belongings in financial declarations you submit to the Broward County Family Court as part of your divorce proceedings.
Let Us Help You Today
Getting the maximum amount in a settlement or in a final court order can play a major role in your ability to recover financially after a divorce. To ensure you get what you are entitled to, contact Fort Lauderdale division of marital asset attorney Vanessa L. Prieto. Reach out and request a consultation to discuss your rights and the options available in your divorce case today.