Interesting legal problem today involving a husband who was moving to Florida to find new work and a new house. His wife wanted to remain in another state with their child until the child finished high school. The couple had retained separate lawyers in contemplation of a divorce Both husband and wife had significant creditor problems on the horizon. The state where they lived currently had almost no creditor exemptions. The problem was how to let husband maximize use of Florida’s liberal asset protection exemptions, especially our homestead exemption, and still get wife enough money to support herself. Here is part of my proposed plan.
I suggested that husband and wife liquidate separate and jointly owned non-exempt assets and apply proceeds to husband’s purchase of his homestead in Florida. Wife would be left with no assets subject to levy in her home state. When husband gets a new job I suggested he open up a wage account at his Florida bank.
Since husband will continue his support of wife and child he should be head of household even though his dependents do not live in Florida home. Husband does not want to send checks to wife and child for support because if there is judgment against wife in her home state the money would be garnished when wife deposits in her checking account. Instead, husband can give wife a debit card on his wage account in Florida. Wife can use money for living and support, but money would remain protected salary in husband’s wage account for a period of six months after salary received. Property settlement in divorce proceeding can be delayed until they are able to work out favorable settlement with creditors. Alternatively, property settlement could entail giving wife equitable interest in husband’s assets exempt from creditors.