Equitable Distribution Laws in Florida
Knowledgeable Help from Our Tampa Divorce Attorney
In the state of Florida, courts divide divorcing couples' property
based on equitable distribution laws. The word "equitable" does
not mean the same as the word "equal." "Equitable"
essentially means "fair." The courts must provide a fair distribution
of assets according to what each spouse brought into the marriage and
the contributions each spouse has made to the marriage.
The courts generally uphold any prenuptial agreement that determines how
property should be divided in the event of a
divorce. Unfortunately, many people do not create prenuptial agreements. In such
cases, you will want a Tampa divorce lawyer to advocate for you during
this time if you hope to keep many of your assets.
When going through a divorce, you will have two options:
- Divide the property voluntarily through mediation
- Go to court and litigate over the property distribution while letting the
court ultimately decide
How is Property Divided in Florida?
It is important to work with a lawyer who has solid experience handling
cases like yours. Our Tampa divorce attorney can patiently learn your
circumstances and provide legal counsel. In the event of unavoidable disagreements,
a judge or arbitrator will take over and decide division for the parties.
Judges divide property based on:
- Duration of the marriage
- Which party will live in the marital home after the divorce
- Debts and liabilities of each party
- Economic circumstances of each party
- History of intentionally wasting or destroying material assets
- Contribution of each spouse's career or education to benefit the family
- Contributions of each party to marital and non-marital assets
- Contribution of each party as a parent or homemaker
Distinguishing Marital Property & Separate Property
Separate property includes any items that are not a part of the property distribution. For
example, any items acquired before marriage or any gifts specifically
given to one spouse are considered separate property. Also, inheritances
to one spouse are considered separate property. All items exchanged or
purchased with separate property are also exclusive to the one spouse.
Marital property includes all items that were acquired during the marriage by one or both
spouses with income or another source of financial gain and that are not
gifts or inheritances. Assets include all retirement accounts, deferred
compensation, profit-sharing assets, money, property, and benefits. You
will want to make sure to include all marital property when drafting a
Catherine W. Real, P.A. can help clients divide their property fairly without
even having to go to court!
the firm today to get assistance.
Further Reading on Equitable Distribution: