How a QDRO is Used to Divide Property in Florida Divorce
Florida divorce records contain provisions that reach far beyond the courthouse. Consequently, there are several ancillary documents to become familiar with when facing this type of family court action. For starters, most don’t know what a QDRO, or qualified domestic relations order, is. This is true regardless of the importance it plays in how property is divided in divorce.
What is Equitable Distribution and How Does it Affect Florida Divorce Records?
The definition of equitable distribution in Florida is important for anyone contemplating divorce. Florida is an equitable distribution state when it comes to property division in divorce. It’s important to note that this differs from states that follow the community property method of court distribution.
Determining what property to divide in a Florida divorce first requires classification. This means figuring out whether it’s marital property or the separate property of one spouse. The equitable distribution definition applies solely to marital property.
How to Figure Out What to Include in a Florida Divorce Records Property Settlement
Property is marital in the state of Florida if acquired during the marriage by either spouse. The exception is if it was acquired by gift or devise. However, if it was a gift to both parties it’s a marital asset. The crucial issue is donative intent. Assets acquired in exchange for separate property, or resulting from the appreciation of separate property during the marriage, are also separate. As a result, this asset isn’t subject to division in Florida divorce records. It’s especially relevant to keep in mind that if separate property is commingled with marital assets, it may be classified as marital by a court.
The state of Florida provides a bright line rule for setting the date for classifying marital assets and liabilities. The determination is the date which the parties entered into a valid separation agreement or the date of filing the petition for divorce, whichever is earlier.
Can Florida Divorce Records Split Everything via Equitable Distribution?
Knowing how property is divided isn’t the same as making it happen. It’s no surprise that most parties are pretty clueless when it comes to the tools for effectuating equitable distribution in Florida. Until you’re forced to deal with your Florida marriage ending, divorce isn’t exactly something anyone wants to spend time thinking about. Thankfully you have made the wildly intelligent decision to read this post. And, like Kenny F-ing Powers, all the answers you’ve been searching for are on the verge of totally being answered.
The Division of Property in Divorce Falls under Florida Equitable Distribution Statute 61.075
Florida laws contain several factors for dividing property in divorce:
- The contribution to the marriage by each marriage spouse.
- The economic circumstances of the parties.
- The duration of the marriage.
- Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party.
- The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse.
- The desirability of retaining a spouses property, intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party.
- The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, or the incurring of liabilities to, marital and non-marital assets party.
- The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage, or any other party.
- The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing divorce or within 2 years prior.
An Introduction to Property Division in Divorce and the Florida QDRO
A QDRO serves three main purposes.
- Dividing retirement plans as marital property as part of the division of property in divorce.
- For alimony payments.
- For paying child support or support debts.
A separate QDRO is necessary for each retirement plan in a division of property agreement. A QDRO is a separate court order that transfers a portion of retirement benefits from one spouse to the other. This requirement to split an account is set by IRS officials, not the state of Florida.
Why You Should Hire a QDRO Expert Before Tackling Equitable Distribution as Part of a Florida Divorce Property Settlement Agreement
When you’re young you see life as one big adventure. Of course, the division of property in divorce and this qualified order thing aren’t yet part of your vocabulary. Terms like divorce records and QDRO have never even entered your orbit. You’re able to party until the sun comes up. You still make it to your morning shift at the local diner. Your days are spent dreaming of a future consisting of traveling to exotic locales and fulfilling your aspirations to become a travel writer.
You envision the love of your life, a perfect ten, by your side constantly inspiring you to be the best possible version of yourself. Obviously, that’s what spouses do for each other in a Florida marriage! You vow to yourself on a daily basis that you will never end up like the poor schmucks who frequent your tables who routinely complain to you about their boss who is the king of all jerk offs. No, not you. Your life plan is built around the principle of stating if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life. And then a little thing called reality comes knocking at your door.
Life Before Divorce Records in Florida Became an Issue
Of course, you had the best intentions when you swept up that gorgeous co-ed in your Humanities class. Wanting to fulfill your promise to provide stability for your new life partner, you let go of the dreams you had and joined the rat race. Fast forward a number of years and you can’t wait to spring out of bed in the morning. Not to get to your dream job but to avoid the barrage of incessant nagging and discomfort that now dominates your lamentable existence. You realize that the only place worse than the hell you have just escaped is the office. And so, you find daily reprieve at the local diner.
You’re overcome with the desire to shake the poor, young sap with the hopeful look in his eyes. Consequently revealing the misery that the future will undoubtedly bring him. Instead, you silently cringe when he rattles off his plans to start med school in the Fall so that he can one day work with Doctors Without Borders. He tell you that he can’t wait to get his license and enter public health and doesn’t care if there’s a record public service. You laugh to yourself at the irony when he spouts out your once shared philosophy on being passionate about your chosen career. Just wait til he has to learn about divorce issued qualified domestic relations orders. Then maybe the two of you can relate. Birth certificates to death certificate, the information record online is the same.
Pay Attention to the Details Surrounding the Division of Property in Florida Divorce Records
You know, at the very least, you have a sizable state Florida pension coming your way. After decades of spending your days under appreciated at a job you can barely stomach, you force yourself this small comfort. You’ll finally be able recapture some of the contentment you enjoyed in your youth. You’ve even gone as far as keeping a picture on your desk of the fishing boat you plan on rewarding yourself with for all your years of hard work. And then it happens. Your other half has gone to visit family for the weekend and you are finally able to enjoy some r&r at when the doorbell rings.
A pimply faced kid in tattered jeans with a badge around his neck informs you that you’ve been served with divorce papers. You search the Florida divorce records county site and there it is. The heavens part and you fall to your knees, certain you must have been Honest Abe in a past life and karma has finally come to pay you a visit. The next day, you’re in the office of a Delray Beach divorce lawyer half listening to her over the sounds of harps and trumpets playing in your head of course. Something she says immediately catches your attention. “Pardon me for interrupting, but did I just hear you say my soon to be lazy, good for nothing ex is entitled to half of my pension?”
Remember, It’s up to You to Make a QDRO Part of Your Florida Divorce Records
If you’re having a WTF moment reminiscent of the first time you saw the clip of the Suzy Kolber/Joe Namath interview, don’t get too down on yourself. I simply share Tupac’s philosophy with my clients. Although you feel overwhelmed and seems it’ll never let up, you’ve got to keep your head up. After all, when dealing with Florida divorce records, you have to know things are gonna get easier and things will get brighter.
Click Delray Beach Divorce Lawyer now to schedule your consultation. Proudly Serving Boca Raton, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach and all of Palm Beach County, Florida.
Boca Raton Family Law Attorneys Practice Areas Include:
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
Divorce In Florida Laws
Florida Alimony Laws
Divorce Equitable Distribution In Florida
Legal Separation Agreement
Division of Property
Dissipation of Marital Assets
Contempt and Enforcement