Disposing Of Marital Assets Before The Finalization Of Your Divorce
Divorce proceedings can be time-consuming and expensive. For this reason, many couples find themselves wanting or attempting to sell marital assets that would normally be divided upon divorce. This is known as interim distribution and is possible in certain cases. Those who don’t follow particular rules, however, could end up being accused of hiding or wasting assets, making it especially important for those with questions about disposing of their marital property, to contact an experienced Largo divorce lawyer who can help them avoid court sanctions.
Unlawful Dissipation of Marital Assets
Once a couple files for divorce, both spouses are prohibited from intentionally wasting, depleting, destroying, or dissipating marital assets. In the event that a spouse does engage in this type of activity, the judge will be required to take that into consideration when divvying up the couple’s remaining property. It is not uncommon in these kinds of cases, for a court to decide that the wronged spouse should receive a greater share of the marital property than the other spouse.
Legal Sale of Marital Property
Fortunately, not all disposal of joint property qualifies as dissipation. If, for example, a couple lacks the cash flow to pay the mortgage on a a parcel of real estate and so decide to sell another asset to generate enough money to make those payments and preserve the first property as part of the marital estate, they could do so if given permission by the court. This process is known as the interim distribution of a marital asset.
Interim Partial Distribution of Marital Property
Under Florida law, either party to a divorce can file a motion with the court asking for an interim partial distribution of assets or debts. If the judge finds that there is good cause, which basically means that extraordinary circumstances exist, he or she can grant the motion. This will require, however, a specific factual basis for the request, as well as an explanation of good cause for why the parties cannot wait until the finalization of the divorce to release the asset. If an interim asset distribution is granted, the court will identify and value the asset to be sold before setting those assets apart and issuing the official authorization for distribution.
Furthermore, if approved, the court will be required to take the interim distribution of an asset or debt into account when making decisions about what constitutes an equitable division of a couple’s remaining property. If there is any evidence that releasing the asset would be unfair or prejudicial to either spouse in later claims for support, the court will deny the request.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
To speak with an experienced Largo divorce lawyer about your own options for disposing of your assets mid-divorce, please call Cairns Law at 727-683-1472 today. We are more than happy to schedule weekend and evening appointments, so even if your busy schedule doesn’t allow for an appointment in the middle of the day, you can still set up a free consultation with a member of our legal team by calling our office or sending us an online message.