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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102381
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My son has been married for 16 years with no children. They

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My son has been married for 16 years with no children. They own 2 homes, 1 is free and clear and the other has $150k mortgage on it. No credit card debt and a leased vehicle. My son is younger and has 13 yrs to work before getting retirement. She is 13 yrs older and already getting a $1,500 a month retirement check from the State of Florida. She works part-time to pay for her medical coverage. What are the laws re: splitting property. Is my son responsible for alimony?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 7 years ago.

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Did they buy the homes before or after marriage? Or both (please explain as to each one).

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

The properties were bought together and everything is jointly owned. She has a retirement account worth @ $100k. My son also has about the same amount at the post office. One property is located in north Georgia (summer place). The other is in Manatee County. The Georgia property is free and clear, worth @ $100k. He is willing to sign over that property to her if she will sign off on the Manatee property. I told him that all property should be sold and split 50/50.

Expert:  Ely replied 7 years ago.
Separate property and debt is property that is generally:

1. Owned before marriage by one spouse; or

2. Acquired by gift or will or similar legal way by spouse during marriage; or

3. Declared as such by prenup or postup; or

4. Traceable property purchased by one spouse only; or

5. Tort Recovery for personal injury, but not medical expenses or loss of earning capacity.

Separate property and debt is awarded to the party which had claim to it in accordance with the rules above.

Community Property and debt is everything else, including but not limited to:

1. Income from BOTH parties; or

2. Declared as such by prenup and postup; or

3. Gift from one spouse to another; or

4; All titled and non-titled property gathered during marriage.

Community property is AUTOMATICALLY ASSUMED unless proven to be separate property by a party “by a preponderance of the evidence.” Community property and debt is split 50/50. So the houses will be split. > In case of titled assets such as homes, cars, etc., it usually is awarded to one party and that party is ordered to make an “equalizing payment” to the other party. For example, a car worth $10k will be given to the wife but the wife is ordered to make a payment of 5k to the husband. Time to make the payments or payment plans are a norm in such a situation. Alimony, also known as spousal support, is subjective. It is based on a case by case basis, and is meant to ensure that the weakest party would not suffer a financial meltdown after the divorce. I am afraid I cannot give you a concrete number since every case is different and is based not only on the financial numbers, but also on many other variables. Both the length and amount is calculated primarily based on THESE elements:a. The standard of living established during the marriage.

b. The duration of the marriage.

c. The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.

d. The financial resources of each party, the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.

e. When applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.
f. The contribution of each party to the marriage, including but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.
g. All sources of income available to either party.

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Edited by Eli on 7/1/2010 at 4:02 PM EST
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