Dividing Sentimental Property in a Florida Divorce
Disputes over the division of marital property are often among the most contentious in any divorce case. Most frequently, separating spouses are trying to get their fair share of important, valuable marital assets, so that they can ensure their ability to financially support themselves going forward.
That being said, high value assets are far from the only property that matters in a divorce. Indeed, in many divorce cases, who gets to keep certain sentimental items that may have no market value is a very important issue that needs to be resolved. Here, our experienced Orlando property distribution lawyer explains what you need to know about the division of sentimental property and Florida divorce claims.
Marital Property is Divided Equitably
Under Florida law, specifically Section 61.075 of the Florida Statutes, all marital property is to be divided in an equitable manner. This means that property will be divided by the court in a manner that is as “just and fair” as is possible. In some cases, this legal standard is relatively easy to apply to items that have sentimental value. For example, if you graduated from college or grad school during the course of your marriage, any mementos from that event would almost certainly have much higher sentimental value to you than to your spouse. As such, it would be fair and just for you to keep that property.
However, in many other cases, applying Florida’s equitable distribution rules to sentimental property can be extremely challenging. This is particularly true for items in which both partners have a legitimate, sentimental claim. For example, family photographs that include each spouse, or other items that do not clearly mean more to one person are very difficult to divide equitably. Additionally, items that have both sentimental value and real monetary value, such as certain real estate property, can be hard to distribute.
Collaborative Solutions Work Best
When it comes to dealing with sentimental property, collaborative solutions work best for most divorcing couples. To put it bluntly, Florida property distribution laws are poorly equipped to handle disputes over sentimental items. Florida law is much better designed to deal with property that has a clear financial value. As such, divorcing couples with sentimental property should strive to work together to find collaborative, mutually beneficial solutions that work well for everyone involved.
Our firm has deep experience handling complex, highly emotional divorce cases. We know how to negotiate and work collaboratively to find the best solutions for you. Still, we are always ready to fight aggressively to ensure that you are able to retain your fair share of the marital property, especially the items that have sentimental importance to you.
Contact Our Orlando Family Law Team Today
At the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., our compassionate family law team is standing by, ready to help you with your Florida divorce case. If you have any questions about property division and sentimental items, please call us today at 407-521-7171 to set up your comprehensive initial legal consultation. From our office in Orlando, we serve communities throughout Orange County, including Kissimmee, Windermere, Alafaya and Lake Buena Vista.