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Division of Property and Assets Archives

Division of Property And Assets Wellington, FL

In effectuating a division of property and assets in a divorce proceeding in Florida, enterprise goodwill represents the tendency of customers to return to a business regardless of the reputation of a person who works at the business. Personal goodwill is attributable to the reputation and continued participation of an individual who works at the business. The Florida Court of Appeals recently addressed this issue in Schmidt v. Schmidt

Division of Property And Assets in Palm Beach County, Florida

Florida Rulings Division of Marital Property and Marital Assets - Sale of Marital Home in Florida If a trial court orders the sale or refinance of the marital home, the court must fix a reasonable deadline for the sale or refinance. "The trial court awarded the former wife possession of the marital home and awarded the former husband one-half of the equity in the home. Pursuant to the final judgment, the former husband was to be paid his half of the equity upon the refinancing or sale of the home. The final judgment did not, however, include a date by which such refinancing or sale must occur. We agree with the former husband that the trial court erred by failing to include a deadline for the refinancing or sale of the marital home. If the trial court orders the sale of the marital home in the final judgment "the judgment must fix a reasonable deadline by which the sale must take place." Sullivan v. Sullivan, 363 So. 2d 393, 395 (Fla. 2d DCA 1978) (citing Carlsen v. Carlsen, 346 So. 2d 132, 133 (Fla. 2d DCA 1977)). As was the case in Sullivan, "[t]he judgment now before us is deficient because it sets no deadline for the sale of the home by the parties." Id. We therefore reverse that portion of the final judgment which fails to set a deadline for sale or refinancing of the marital home and remand for the trial court to provide such deadline. See Blackmon v. Blackmon, 969 So. 2d 426, 430 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007)." Gulledge v. Gulledge, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D504 (Fla. 2d DCA February 29, 2012)

Division Property and Assets in Palm Beach County, Florida

A final judgment providing for exclusive use and occupancy must state that it terminates upon the occupant's remarriage. "The final judgment provided, inter alia, that "[t]he children and Wife shall be awarded exclusive use of the marital home for a minimum of 14 years, when the parties' youngest child will begin college or otherwise be emancipated." Former Husband contends the trial court erred in granting Stacey Fisher ("Former Wife") exclusive use and possession of the marital home without providing for termination of such use upon Former Wife's remarriage. We agree...As this Court has stated: An award of exclusive use and possession should specify the period of time for possession, and should include an express provision for termination of exclusive use and possession when the minor child attains the age of eighteen, as well as a provision that the award may be terminated if the party in residence remarries. Arze v. Sadough-Arze, 789 So. 2d 1141, 1145 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001) (quoting Todd v. Todd, 734 So. 2d 537, 540 (Fla. 1st DCA 1999))." Byrne v. Byrne

Division of Property & Assets in Palm Beach County, Florida

A homestead may be sold and the funds will be protected as long as they are held for the sole purpose of acquiring a new home. "A protected homestead may be voluntarily sold, and the funds will be protected so long as they are not commingled and are held for the sole purpose of acquiring another home within a reasonable period of time. McKean v. Warburton, 919 So. 2d 341, 344 (Fla. 2005); Rossano v. Britesmile, Inc., 919 So. 2d 551 (Fla. 3d DCA 2005)." Roth v. Roth

Division of Property And Assets in Palm Beach County, Florida

Division of Marital Property and Marital Assets - Installment Payments in Florida Although a trial court has discretion to order an equitable distribution award to be made in installments, the installments cannot be spread over too long of a period of time. "We recognize that under section 61.075(10), a trial court has discretion to order an equitable distribution award payable in installments over a fixed period of time. See Beers v. Beers, 724 So. 2d 109,114 (Fla. 5th DCA 1998). However, under the scenario fashioned by the trial court, it would take over eighteen years for the former wife to receive her share of the award, effectively depriving the former wife of her one-half interest in the marital assets." Fotinos v. Fotinos

Division of Property & Assets in Palm Beach County, Florida

A trial court can award a party interest on those sums that should have been distributed as part of an equitable distribution. "This court reviewed and affirmed the pre-Final Judgment valuation which required Former Wife to pay the equalizing amount of $193,479.50 to Former Husband, plus interest for the years she delayed disbursement...The trial court has the discretion to award [a party] interest, accruing from entry of the final judgment of dissolution, on those sums that should have been distributed." Shinitzky v. Shinitzky

Division Of Property And Assets In Palm Beach County, Florida

An agreement between the parties pertaining to equitable distribution of assets is binding upon the parties, without a court order, however, agreements between the parties relating to custody and child support are not binding without a court order. "Former Wife is incorrect that the portions of the 2007 mediation agreement pertaining to equitable distribution, debts, and property agreements are unenforceable because an order approving the agreement was never entered. 'A stipulation properly entered into and relating to a matter upon which it is appropriate to stipulate is binding upon the parties and upon the Court.' Yeakle v. Yeakle, 12 So. 3d 884, 885-86 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted); see Dorta v. Dorta, 626 So. 2d 312, 313 (Fla. 4th DCA 1993) (recognizing that property rights in post-dissolution marriage proceeding are enforceable under contract law). Therefore, we affirm the trial court's rulings on the enforcement matters pertaining to equitable distribution, debts, and property agreements. Former Wife is correct that the 2007 mediation agreement is nonbinding and unenforceable as to child custody and child support issues until the trial court enters an order approving the agreement as being in the best interests of the children. Feliciano v. Feliciano, 674 So. 2d 937 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996)." Comstock v. Comstock

Division Of Property And Assets In Palm Beach County, Florida

It is error to include assets in an equitable distribution scheme that have been diminished or dissipated during the dissolution proceeding, unless they were diminished as a result of misconduct during the dissolution proceeding. "'As a general proposition, it is error to include assets in an equitable distribution scheme that have been diminished or dissipated during the dissolution proceedings.' Roth v. Roth, 973 So. 2d 580, 584 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008). '[A]n exception to this general proposition exists when misconduct during the dissolution proceedings results in the dissipation of a marital asset.' Id. at 584-85. Misconduct exists when one spouse has used the marital funds for his or her own benefit and for a purpose unrelated to the marriage. Id. at 585. In order to include a dissipated asset in the distribution scheme, 'there must be evidence of the spending spouse's intentional dissipation or destruction of the asset[ ] and the trial court must make a specific finding that the dissipation resulted from intentional misconduct.'" Id. Tummings v. Francois Division of Marital Property and Marital Assets - Marital

Division Of Property And Assets In Palm Beach County, Florida

Once a party is ordered to make an equitable distribution of funds, even if the value of those funds is diminished by market conditions, the dollar amount that is required to be distributed will not be diminished. "Even if Former Wife's half of the funds diminished due to market conditions, she was still required to pay Former Husband one-half of the investments as of November 2007. If she was unable to pay that one-half from her portion of the funds, she was to use other funds to ensure he still received the same amount he was owed years ago." Shinitzky v. Shinitzky

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