Bifurcation Allows Divorce Now, But Property Division Later

I’ve posted before, in
Florida Public Defenders Seek Freeze and Lien for Attorney’s Fees on Marital Assets of Wife Who Allegedly Murdered Her Two Children With Husband, about a sad and fairly high profile case here in Florida where the Wife allegedly killed Husband and Wife’s children.

Husband just got his divorce … without any discussion of property division, although their assets are substantial.

How can that be?

Well, the above is a little misleading. It’s not that property division is eliminated. It’s just bypassed, for the moment.

A procedure called bifurcation literally allows the Florida family court to split the entire divorce case into two smaller components. Each component can be heard and ruled on at different points in time.

So, here, the bare divorce that made each spouse a single person again happened first. Property division will happen, but it will happen later.

Bifurcation doesn’t happen often, but it is used in certain kinds of circumstances. One of the most common is where one spouse is dying and wants to be divorced before their death.

There can be strategic reasons for seeking or opposing bifurcation, and bifurcation can create twists in property division.

Read more in this St. Petersburg Times article: Judge grants Parker Schenecker immediate divorce and this WTSP News 10 article: Parker and Julie Schenecker officially divorce.