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Property division and other issues in Florida divorces

While actor Johnny Depp is in the middle of a potentially expensive divorce to Amber Heard, experts say that the recent sale of his extensive art collection is probably unrelated. It was in the planning stages before the two announced their divorce. Since the two were only married for 15 months, it is unlikely the paintings would have been considered marital property anyway. Nevertheless, the situation brings to light the process of a divorce "fire sale."

Divorcees are often cautioned against having or appearing to have the so-called fire sale. This occurs when a person attempts to sell assets for less than they are worth in order to reduce the value of the marital estate. However, people who are divorcing and know they are due for a bonus or other windfall might want to delay it until after the divorce so that they do not have to split it with their soon-to-be former spouse.

Publicity can be a problem for some people seeking a divorce. In 2003, the former head of General Electric relinquished a retirement package valued at $2.5 million per year after its details emerged in the media. Some wealthy couples will attempt to settle out of court in order to avoid the inconvenience of going through litigation.

Avoiding litigation may be a goal for couples at other income levels as well. A resolution that a couple reaches through negotiation may be more to their satisfaction than one that is decided upon by a judge. Negotiation may also be a better solution for parents who need to work out issues around child custody, visitation and support. Children often adjust better when a divorce is less contentious, and these negotiations can also help parents begin to establish a healthy co-parenting relationship outside of the marriage. If negotiations break down, litigation always remains a possibility.

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