Property Division and Real Estate

Couples who make real estate purchases and related decisions make significant investments that represent the real possibility of serious loss and can bring serious challenges in a divorce. Like all states, Florida has its own laws, rulings, and statutes about how property division is handled during the divorce process. So how does Florida address property during a divorce?

Division of Real Estate Holdings

According to Florida statutes, Civil Practice and Procedure § 61.075, et seq and Estates and Trusts § 732.216, et seq. – The latter of which is also referred to as the Florida Uniform Disposition of Property Rights at Death Act – The assets of a couple include most forms of property acquired during the marriage, even if the title only lists one owner. Marital property, therefore, would include any real estate purchased during your marriage. This also includes real estate holdings funded or maintained using a marital fund.

In general, courts consider some assets to be separate properties no matter when you obtained them, including both inheritances in the form of property and gifts left to a single person. So, for example, if you receive a piece of land as an inheritance, it will usually be considered separate property – Unless it was co-mingled with any marital assets.

Obtain a Proper Valuation

Obtaining a complete understanding of your financial situation is essential during a divorce. This ensures you receive your fair share of assets. Real estate holdings will need to be assessed and appraised to find the property’s current monetary value. You will have to use a variety of means to do this, and as you do, you must factor in any appreciation in the value of your property. For example, if the property is in a neighborhood that has recently been thoroughly developed and built upon will likely be worth more than it was when you obtained it or fetch a higher rental price if used in that way.

Suppose you and your ex developed the property through upgrades, installations, or renovations. In that case, the court may decide to divide the value of that property regardless of ownership.

You Need Professional Help to Protect Your Interests

Professionals familiar with real estate markets are essential to obtaining an accurate valuation of your property. Appraisers, brokers, and other professionals can provide you with insight into an area’s market or development. They can also give you insight into which markets relate to the specific property you own. These consultations are also important in establishing proof of the value of your assets. Without their assessment, you will be unable to prove the financial value of any one asset against another.

Similarly, an attorney skilled with the complicated realities of real estate division can help you protect your financial interests. With a skilled attorney supporting you, you can formulate a legal strategy. With their help, you can establish a financial foundation after your marriage, maintaining your real estate holdings. If you have questions about this complex issue, give us a call. We will happily talk through your concerns and start figuring out how to protect what’s yours.