Filing For Divorce in Florida when Commingled Assets are an Issue

filing for divorce in Florida Boca Raton, FLSouth Florida Divorce Lawyer Explains How to Find Income from a Financial Affidavit and a Request for Production

Filing for divorce in Florida can be complicated when there are commingled assets. Certain discovery tools, like the Florida Family Law Financial Affidavit and a well-planned, detailed Request for Production can help provide information about a party’s financial position.

The Role of a Florida Family Law Financial Affidavit Short Form in a Divorce Property Division

Florida requires each party to file court verification of his or her financial position. This is the most important document when filing for divorce in Florida. A Florida Family Law financial affidavit should include all gross income, all deductions from gross income, all expenses, and all assets and liabilities. This is a basic definition in the courts family dictionary to splitting the marital estate. If your annual gross income is below $50,000 you complete a financial affidavit short form. In addition, a Florida Family Law financial affidavit must be filed in all cases, with narrow exceptions.

Every petition for child support must be accompanied by an affidavit which shows the party’s net income. If the parties are entering into a marital settlement agreement, they must exchange their affidavits before entering into the agreement. If you’re seeking more information from the other party, you can request that they file a financial affidavit long form through interrogatories or a request for production.

The Role of a Florida Family Law Financial Affidavit Long Form in a Divorce Property Division

This is the most important document when filing for divorce in Florida. It provides an outline, or log, of what property divorced spouses will receive. A Florida Family Law financial affidavit should include all gross income, all deductions from gross income, all expenses, and all assets and liabilities. If individual annual gross income is above $50,000 you complete a financial affidavit long form. Consequently, if a party’s income is below $50,0000.00 and you qualify to file a financial affidavit short form, there is much less information provided.

As a result, many attorneys request a party file a Florida Family Law financial affidavit long form regardless of a party’s income. This can help a South Florida divorce lawyer decide what to ask for in a request for production. When it comes to the division of property between spouses, it can be useful to judge family income before and after divorce.

filing for divorce in Florida Boca Raton, FLWhat Should I Know about Commingled Assets before Filing for Divorce in Florida?

Scene One: Potential Client Smith enters South Florida Divorce Lawyers office with plans of filing for divorce in Florida. Client’s body language shows high level of confidence. Cut to Interior of Conference Room.

  • South Florida Divorce Lawyer: What brings you here today Mr. Smith?
  • Client: I need a divorce like I said in my email. I figure we can get this sucker done in a week or two due to help from an attorney law. Should be real simple, my old lady and I got all our accounts separate. Always have. In conclusion, she gets what’s hers, I get what’s mine. The courts judges will surely appreciate how simple the laws case will be. Client taps finger on side of head and laughs.
  • Client: Mama didn’t raise no fool. (South Florida Divorce Lawyer frowns, looking down at notepad and clears throat.)
  • South Florida Divorce Lawyer:  Well Mr. Smith, with all due respect. Please know that I am in no way insinuating that you’re a fool. Family law cases can be complex. I just want to ensure you are familiar with Florida Family Law before we get into the specifics of your situation. Have you ever heard the term commingled?

Scene Two: Client emerges from South Florida Divorce Lawyer office, shoulders slumped, head hung low. Cell phone rings.

  • Client: Hello? Yeah, just finished up… I’ll be damned Jim. I thought I’d have my divorce filed by now. You ever heard of some *%$@ called commingled assets in divorce law? Guess I’ve got a lot to learn about my divorce property division after all.

South Florida Divorce Lawyer defines Commingled Assets in the Eyes of a Family Law Judge

Commingled assets are when non-marital funds are combined with marital funds. This usually occurs when a couple shares a joint account but begins depositing separate resources into the account. It can also occur where the couple purchases property with both joint and separate monies. When this happens, it can be difficult to link which funds went to purchase the property. As a result, this makes it hard to classify as separate and therefore exempt from a divorce property division.

filing for divorce in Florida Boca Raton, FLWhy a Request for Production Can be Helpful When Filing for Divorce in Florida

If a commingler comminuted assets, it doesn’t necessarily change the asset from separate to marital. Commingling only begins to have legal effects when separate property can no longer be set apart from marital property.  Since you have to trace the funds, a request for production can give you the information you need. Or, at the very least, a page to start from.

Why the Title of Accounts Usually Doesn’t Matter to a Family Law Judge

A party has a separate account and then deposits marital assets into it. Usually, if the deposits are either in cash or cannot be traced easily, the account has been commingled. The parties marriage now contains a commingler. If income or profit from non marital assets has been relied upon by the parties to meet marital expenses, it’s also commingled. If looking in a dictionary commingled words you would see mix, mingled or blend. Of course, like anything in marriage court, this verb is more complex than meets the eye.

Best Boca Raton Family Law Attorneys Advice: Don’t Cry over Commingled Assets when Filing for Divorce in Florida

If this occurs, the Family Law judge assumes a gift presumption. And, as everything has its counterpart, there are ways to rebut this fund presumption. Especially if commingled assets aren’t fungible and tracing is possible. With the help of a Florida forensic accountant, a party proves that the asset maintains it’s separate, non marital character. If you’re dealing with a lot of money, it’s always best to leave as little a margin for accidents as possible.

filing for divorce in Florida Boca Raton, FLFamily Law Judge will Require Parties to Submit a Family Law Financial Affidavit when Filing for Divorce in Florida

Florida Statute 61.075  provides several factors to be considered by a Palm Beach County family law judge during the Florida divorce process. The framework of divorce property division is included in this law.

  1. The contribution to the marriage by each spouse due to contributions to the care and education of the children and services as homemaker.
  2. Economic circumstances of the parties.
  3. Duration of the marriage.
  4. Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party.
  5. The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse.
  6. Desirability of retaining any asset, intact and free from any claim or interference due to the other party.
  7. The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of, or the incurring of liabilities in the case.
  8. Desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage, or any other party.
  9. The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing for divorce in Florida or within 2 years prior.
  10. Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.

What to Know about a Request for Production when Filing for Divorce in Florida and Why it Matters to Divorce Property Division

Either party may request the other to produce and permit the party making the request to inspect and copy anything in the production documents request. A request for production should specifically provide that a party doesn’t need to resubmit mandatory disclosure documents. The request for production lists and describes each item and category in detail. A party has 30 days to respond to a request for production. If it’s served with the petition, the time is extended to 45 days. If the request for production is objected to, the reasons for the objection to the requests production documents must be stated.

Click  Boca Raton South Florida Divorce Lawyer  to schedule your consultation. Proudly Serving Boca Raton, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, and all of Palm Beach County, South Florida.

Boca Raton Divorce Family Law Attorneys Practice Areas Include:

  • Florida Prenuptial Agreement

  • Post Marital Agreement

  • Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

  • Contested Divorce

  • Uncontested Divorce

  • High Net Worth Divorce

  • Annulment

  • Florida Alimony Laws

  • Equitable Distribution

  • Divorce Property Division

  • Legal Separation Agreement

  • Division of Property

  • Imputing Income

  • Dissipation of Marital Assets

  • Modification of Alimony Payments

  • Florida Modification of Child Support

  • Modification Of Child Custody In Florida

  • Florida Child Support Enforcement

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