The concept of equitable distribution in Florida

When you’re getting divorced in Florida, the court will divide all the property you gathered during your marriage. Under state laws, the judge will find the fairest way to distribute your assets between you and your spouse. Here’s a deeper look at the concept of equitable distribution.

How the court gets involved

In a Florida divorce, the court will divide your marital assets equitably. Equitable distribution is not a 50/50 split; it can be something like 60/40, 51/49 or 80/20, depending on the underlying factors.

The first step to property division usually involves determining which of your assets are marital and non-marital. Non-marital property includes gifts, inheritance and any item you acquired before your marriage. However, a whole or part of it can become marital through intermingling or when the other party does anything to enhance their value.

Factors the court considers in equitable distribution

The judge will look at certain factors when deciding how to fairly distribute your assets in a divorce. They include:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The contribution each spouse made in the production, enhancement and acquisition of both marital and non-marital assets
  • Your desire to retain a particular asset, especially business or work-related assets that are free from interference or claim from the other spouse
  • Contribution as a homemaker, particularly in taking care of the house, kids and other matters that were vital to your well-being
  • Economic circumstances, primarily focusing on your debts and earning capacity of both parties
  • Whether a spouse made career sacrifices or helped the other party get to the level in which they are currently
  • Legally binding agreements signed before or during the marriage
  • Your overall mental and physical health

These are not the only factors that the court will look at; if there are any other relevant factors that could be important in the judge’s decision, you should present them. Every divorce is unique, so factors that the court may have considered in another divorce may not apply to you.

There are situations where your spouse can try to hide or sell valuable property to prevent assets from going through the division process. If you think that this could happen to you, ask the court to put an injunction on your assets. By doing this, you will be essentially freezing all your assets until the divorce process is over.