Division of Property and Assets in Jupiter, FL Divorce

A division of property and assets must be based on competent substantial evidence with written findings a fact identifying marital assets and individually identifying significant assets. The valuation of an entire art collection, rather than its component parts, is reversible error. In Williams v. Williams, the Florida Court of Appeals recently stated: “It is unclear from the Final Judgment how the trial court reached the figure of $376,086 in valuing the parties’ art collection. This dollar amount does not align with either figure offered by the parties’ respective expert witnesses who appraised the collection. The value the trial court placed on the collection is nearly $100,000 below the $470,107 appraisal by the former husband’s expert witness and is more than $300,000 below the $688,550 appraisal by the former wife’s expert. 

Because the Final Judgment contains no specific findings as to the value of the collection, other than the total amount itself, it is impossible to determine how the trial court reached the value it placed on the collection, or whether the value is supported by competent substantial evidence. Further, the Final Judgment expressly indicates that the valuation does not include the pieces housed in Florida, but encompasses only those in New Mexico. Therefore, we must reverse and remand for the trial court to explain how it reached the value it placed on the collection and to set forth a value as to the pieces housed in Florida. SeeBlossman v. Blossman, 92 So. 3d 878,879 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012); Wendroff v. Wendroff, 614 So. 2d 590 (Fla. 1st DCA 1993); Augoshe v. Lehman, 962 So. 2d 398,402-03 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007).

A trial court must support any distribution of marital assets or liabilities with factual findings in the judgment, based on competent substantial evidence, with reference to the statutory factors. See §61.075(3), Fla. Stat.; Winney v. Winney, 979 So. 2d 396 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008); Nicewonder v. Nicewonder, 602 So. 2d 1354 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992). It must make specific written findings of fact identifying marital assets and individually valuing significant assets. See §61.075(3)(b),Fla. Stat.; Bateh v. Bateh, 98 So. 3d 750, 753 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012); Wendroff v. Wendroff, 614 So. 2d 590, 593-94 (Fla. 1st DCA 1993). The lack of any such findings in the Final Judgment here makes meaningful appellate review of the equalization payment impossible.”

To speak with a divorce attorney in Jupiter, Florida, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273. 

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