What can you take when separating?
If you decide to move out before your divorce is final and you do not have a Marital Settlement Agreement in place, try to come up with an agreement with your spouse as to who is going to take what. If that is not possible, literally make a list of all the property in your marital home.
When making the list put everything on there… even the dresser that your Uncle Bobby’s sister’s cousin made you for your high school graduation… meaning put non-marital or pre-marital items on there (things you bought or got as a gift before you got married). Note on the list that those items are non or pre-marital. For the remaining items that are marital (meaning you and your spouse purchased them or received them as gifts during your marriage), use eBay, craigslist, the Flier, and the newspaper to determine the fair market value of the property and put that on your list. Then divide up the property as close to 50/50 as possible.
Conventionally speaking, this means if you have a master bedroom set and a guest bedroom set, you take one and you leave one. If you have a dining room set and a kitchenette set, you take one you leave one. If you have two smaller television sets and one big set, you take either the two smaller ones or the one big set. The idea is that you don’t strip the house bare on your way out, because if you don’t have an agreement and you take it all, you could be placing yourself in a bad position in front of the court and the judge hearing your case may not find your method of emptying out the house to be the right way to do it.
Every case is different of course, but as a rule of thumb, take half (and not just the nice half but half of all of the good, the bad, and the ugly). Always speak to your lawyer before you make a move of this sorts in order to determine what the best course of action is for you in your individual case.
Family law issues can become extremely complex. Securing strong legal representation from an attorney who knows Florida divorce law is the first step toward the outcome you deserve. If you are concerned about what will happen to your children, the future of your home and other assets, or the overall costs of divorce, please schedule an initial consultation with experienced family law attorney.