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Fort Myers Florida Family Law Legal Blog

Asset tracing can be a particular benefit to high-asset couples

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2022 | High Net Worth Divorce |

Most divorces tend to have some common issues which arise. Child custody, alimony and property division will come up frequently. But just like every marriage is unique, so too is every divorce. For couples who have a high net worth, the concept of asset tracing may be more useful than in other divorces.

How Florida divides property

Since Florida is an equitable distribution state, one of the first things a court will do is attempt to classify all of the couple’s property as either separate or marital property. Separate property is that which belongs solely to one spouse and will typically remain with that spouse following the divorce. All other property is considered marital property, to be divided equitably between the spouses.

How does asset tracing help?

For high-asset couples, properly identifying property as separate or marital can be both difficult and critical. Florida law carries an initial presumption that assets are marital assets, rather than separate property. This presumption can be overcome but it must be done with evidence.

Asset tracing is the process of tracing the history of specific assets and providing the evidence necessary to classify it properly. For couples with a high net worth, an asset can have a complicated history – perhaps it started as separate property but became commingled with other marital assets at some point. The goal of asset tracing is to untangle that knot and provide the documentation necessary as evidence. If an asset is indeed separate property, the court will have what it needs so that property distribution occurs in the equitable manner it’s supposed to.

 

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