Tampa Property Division Lawyer
Strong Advocacy Leading to Fair Results to Protects Your Assets
If you are going through a divorce, the distribution of your property is vital to your future financial security. Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means the court divides your marital estate in a manner that seems fair under the circumstances, but not necessarily in equal portions. Because a judge can exercise discretion to award you less property than you feel you are properly entitled to, you would certainly benefit from having an attorney on your side who is Florida Bar Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and Marital and Family Law. At Sessums Law Group, P.A., we know how to achieve positive results in property negotiations and litigation, and we are determined to deliver.
Hardworking Divorce Attorneys Manage the Equitable Distribution Process
Equitable distribution is essentially a three-step process, and each step has its own complexities that you and your attorney must address. Sessums Law Group assists you throughout with pertinent advice and strong advocacy on matters related to:
Identifying property — This step actually has two parts. First, the parties must disclose their property to each other. For the purposes of equitable distribution, property consists of assets and debts. Then, a determination must be made as to whether the property belongs to the marital estate and is thus subject to equitable distribution or is separate property that will go free and clear to one spouse.
The first difficulty is knowing whether your spouse has fully disclosed all assets and debt. Unscrupulous parties often withhold information about assets they wish to hold onto and debts they want to dump on their ex-spouse later. When necessary, we consult forensic accountants to determine whether a spouse might be holding something back and use the discovery process to compel full disclosure.
The second difficulty is determining whether property is marital or separate. These general rules apply:
- Property acquired prior to the marriage or after a legal separation is separate.
- Property acquired with separate property is separate.
- Gifts and inheritances acquired during the marriage but specifically designated for one spouse are separate.
- Separate property can become marital through a process called commingling.
As your advocate, we investigate the origin of your assets and debts to make the best case for classification.
Valuing property — The value of each asset and debt must be ascertained. Parties often disagree about the value of complex financial instruments, real estate, fine art, jewelry and other items. An appraisal by an expert can help settle the debate.
Distributing property — The Florida equitable distribution statute requires the court to consider all relevant factors when deciding the portion of the marital estate each party receives. Of the 10 statutory factors, those most frequently cited are:
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage
- Each spouse’s direct contribution to the wealth of the marital estate
- Each spouse’s economic circumstances
- Career sacrifices and contributions to the other’s career each spouse made
- The length of the marriage
- Whether ownership of the marital home is important to raising dependent children
- The extent to which one spouse intentionally wasted marital assets
We understand the court’s decision-making process, so we are meticulous about drawing the court’s attention to factors that favor your claim to your marital assets.
Taking the Decision out of the Judge’s Hands Through a Negotiated Settlement
$6,000,000.00 Recovery Fraud Civil Action
Sessums Law Group, P.A. successfully recovered $6,000,000.00 for a client in a fraud civil action. Prior to the client’s divorce, the client negotiated and executed an agreement with his wife’s boyfriend that sought that the boyfriend would have no contact with the client’s wife.
$2,740,000.00 Wrongful Death Hit/Run of Motorcyclist
Representation of the plaintiff hit from behind on his motorcycle by a driver who was allegedly drunk at the time of the accident. Sued the defendant; the bar that the defendant had been drinking and the defendant’s employer.
$1,929,000.00 Verdict Real Estate Deficiency
Representation of estate in real estate deficiency claim resulting in joint and several liability verdict against various doctors and chiropractors.
$1,000,000.00 Settlement Collision
Representation of estate in an automobile and tractor trailer collision that resulted in multiple deaths.
Confidential Settlement Amount Medical Malpractice
Client was burned with a hot pack after delivering her son via Cesarean section.
Confidential Settlement Amount Nursing Home Negligence
Representation of the Personal Representative of the Estate of the patient who died due to negligent care while in the care of the nursing home.
Confidential Settlement Amount Trolley Accident
Representation of passengers who were enjoying a sight- seeing tour aboard a trolley when the trolley was hit by a bus. The passengers suffered soft tissue injuries.
Confidential Settlement Amount Hit & Run
Sessums Law Group was recently successful in settling a case for a hard working Polk County man whose hit and run accident resulted in a need for a knee replacement. The defendant argued that our client had caused the accident. We were able to prove through expert accident reconstruction testimony that the accident happened as our client testified despite the minimal damage involved.
Confidential Settlement Stolen Property
Client’s vehicle was burglarized and her engagement and wedding rings stolen. The perpetrator pawned the stolen items to a local pawn shop. The pawn shop ignored the hold order from the police department and sold the engagement and wedding rings. After suit filed for the Plaintiff, a confidential settlement was reached with the pawn shop for the value to our client of her stolen rings.
"Our firm believes in the integrity of the needs of the each client we represent. We are passionate about obtaining the maximum results allowable under the law for each client."
- Mark A. Sessums