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How commingled assets can affect property division in divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | Property Division

During divorce, assets classified as marital property, which typically include those acquired during the marriage are subject to equitable distribution between both spouses. In an equitable distribution state like Florida, such assets are not necessarily divided equally but rather in a manner considered fair and just by the court.

Sometimes due to commingling, it becomes difficult to trace the origins of assets and determine their true nature as either marital or separate property. This may complicate the equitable property distribution process in a divorce in the following ways.

Difficulty tracing contributions

When assets are commingled, it can be challenging to trace the contributions of each spouse to the acquisition, maintenance or improvement of those assets. For example, if funds from a joint bank account are used to pay off a mortgage on a property that one spouse owned before marriage, determining the extent to which the non-owner spouse contributed to the property’s increase in value can be difficult. As a result, the division of assets may become contentious, with each spouse asserting their rights based on their perceived contributions further complicating the equitable distribution process.

Complex valuation process

Valuing commingled assets can be intricate and require a thorough examination of financial records and documentation. When assets are commingled such as funds from separate and joint accounts being used for various investments or purchases, determining their current worth and contribution to the marital estate can be challenging. These complications may lead to delayed property division proceedings as parties and their legal representatives work to unravel the financial entanglements and reach a fair assessment of the assets involved.

Increased legal costs

The process of determining the true nature and value of commingled assets can lead to increased legal costs due to the need for extensive financial analysis and consultations. This escalation in expenses may add to the financial strain on both spouses during the divorce proceedings.

To better understand commingling and how it can be avoided, it is important to consider seeking legal guidance and financial advice from experienced professionals well-versed in Florida divorce and asset division.