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Jennifer Labbe

Will My Asset Division Settlement Affect Any Tax Obligations In Florida?

While most assets in a Florida divorce can be transferred between the spouses without tax consequences, you still have to be very mindful of tax obligations. Florida law creates issues with capital gains and different tax treatment. Should you have to sell property or make distributions from an LLC or a closely held corporation, the taxes in those distributions could be seen as capital gains and the dates of filing are going to affect your basis.

For example, if a person decides, subsequent to the divorce, to sell an asset, they no longer have the protection of the $500,000 exemption; they would only have the $250,000 exemption. The best thing to do is to contact a qualified attorney who is used to handling high-asset divorces, who can advise you with the help of a forensic accountant or your CPA on how the assets would be distributed and the best way to avoid certain tax consequences.

What Are Some Of The Biggest Mistakes That You See People Make When It Comes To These High-Asset Divorces In Florida?

The big mistakes I see are not questioning the financials, rushing to sign documents, hiring the wrong lawyer, not trusting their lawyer, and taking the financial distribution at face value and not doing any investigation.

If I Just Want To Get Out Of The Marriage, Can’t I Just Give My Ex Whatever They Want So I Can Be Free To Move On With My Life?

Most attorneys will advise against that. You have to protect yourself in a divorce, and rushing into a settlement, signing too soon, and things like that may affect your distribution of marital assets and your liabilities. It is always best to consult with an experienced divorce attorney prior to entering into settlements because it’s harder to set aside a settlement afterwards, once you’ve realized there was a mistake.

When Couples Decide To Proceed With A Divorce In Florida, What Are Their Options?

People have different options, and I have a mentor, Charlie Jamison, who has the best options outlined on his website. In Florida, we don’t have legal separation, but you can do a legal separation and/or a post-nuptial agreement. You can do a collaborative divorce, a contested divorce, or an uncontested divorce. A contested divorce usually involves more time and money because the parties end up litigating it in front of the judge. An uncontested divorce usually means you file, and then everyone gets their own forensic accountant, we look over the assets, and we go to mediation, where most of them settle.

Does A Contested Divorce Always Lead To Litigation?

Up until the eve of trial, we have the chance to enter into a marital settlement agreement, which will protect the rights of both parties and not allow a judge to decide. That’s true for all contested divorces.

Is There Any Benefit To Being The Person To File For Divorce In Florida?

In Florida, the initial person to file will present their case first in front of the judge. Other than that, there is no benefit to being the first to file. Either party can file under Florida law; you either pay a fee of $400 for the petition, or you pay a counter-petition fee of $395.

How Is Custody Determined In Florida During A Divorce Process?

In Florida, we have some revamped custody laws. Now, under Florida Statute 61.13, we have time-share. Most judges lean toward more of an equal time-sharing schedule, but every case is individual. It depends on both parties’ work schedules and how they will be able to effectuate timesharing based on their work schedules. The kind of family support they have in that area is also taken into consideration. I believe there are 20 different factors that the judge will look at, but most of the time-sharing decisions are centered on the best interest of the children.

Is There An Age In Florida When A Child Has A Say In Who They Will Live With For The Majority Of The Time?

Under Florida Law 61.13, there is a provision that allows the minor child’s preference to be one of the 20 factors that the parties would look at to determine what is in the child’s best interest. Their choice is not guaranteed. Just because the child says they want to live with one party doesn’t necessarily mean a judge will do that. Determination of time-sharing or who the child’s going to spend more time with is determined based on those 19 other factors that the court looks at that have as much, if not more, weight than the child’s preference.

For more information on Family Law in Florida, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (561) 815-8889 today.

Jennifer Labbe

Call Me Now For A Strategic Consultation
(561) 820-0010