Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Divorce

In a Miami divorce, when does the “What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is yours” stuff stop once you’ve decided your marriage is over?  Florida law is pretty clear on the cut-off date for classifying an asset or debt as marital or non-marital. 

The cut-off date is the earliest of the following, according to section 61.075 of the Florida Statutes:

1. the date the parties enter into a valid separation agreement,

2. such other date as may be expressly established by such agreement, or

3. the date of the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage.

These cut-off dates are of interest to spouses who know their marriage is over and don’t want to continue to be liable for debt incurred by the other spouse, or who want to purchase assets without sharing them with the other spouse. The Miami divorce court has discretion to determine the value of assets and the amount of liabilities identified as marital based on what is fair under the circumstances. According to Florida divorce law, “Different assets may be valued as of different dates, as, in the judge’s discretion, the circumstances require.” (See section 61.075 of the Florida Statutes)

So while the cut-off date for valuing an asset or debt may be one date, if it would be unfair, based on the date the parties separated, to award a spouse certain property or make a spouse responsible for a debt, the valuation date could be one that grants all equity or debt to one spouse over the other. A good example is a couple that has been separated for 10 years. In the decade it took for that couple to file for divorce, each spouse has led separate financial lives, and so the court might value all assets and debts as of the date of separation so that neither spouse is liable for debts that accrued in those 10 years or shares in assets purchased during that time. 

Putting forth your best case for equitable distribution usually starts with discussing your case with an experienced attorney. Contact a Miami Family Law attorney at Streets Law to discuss your case.