Equitable Distribution in Divorce
Jacksonville Family Law Attorney Fighting for Your Fair Share
Florida is an “equitable distribution” state, which means that property which is to be divided in a divorce settlement must be divided in an equitable manner. This includes assets as well as debts. However, it is important to know that the terms “equitable” and “equal” are not the same thing; by “equitable” is meant what is fair.
Jacksonville divorce attorneys at Ellerin Hutchinson understand the importance of this issue, and will help you work out a settlement of your property and debts in a manner that will protect your rights and your future survival.
How Marital Assets Are Divided in Florida
Equitable distribution in Florida divorce cases is based on a number of factors, and can be a very time consuming and complex matter if you are not properly prepared to deal with it. Some of the things that may have a bearing on property distribution are:
- Contributions of each spouse to the marriage, including care and education of the children, and also services provided as a homemaker.
- The financial situation of each spouse.
- How long the couple has been married.
- The negative effect on the career or educational opportunities of either spouse as a result of the dissolution of marriage.
- Contribution by either spouse to personal career or educational opportunities.
- The advantages and desirability of holding on to certain assets, including a business or professional practice. For example, one would look at how valuable it would be to hold that asset free and clear of any interference by the other party.
- The desirability of keeping the family home. In particular, if there are children, what impact would be created for the children to have to move from the family home and whether or not this would be in the best interests of the child.
- Contribution to not only income that is produced, but also debts which are produced. This relates to both marital and non-marital assets, such as:
- Bank Accounts
- Personal Property
- Retirement Accounts and Pensions
- Business Interests
There are many ways to place value on your marital assets, and many ways to work out the distribution of those assets to the highest advantage. In addition, the non-marital assets must be carefully determined and also dealt with during the divorce process. As your financial security, and the continued ownership of your home and property, is such a vital issue, it is extremely important to seek the help of an experienced Jacksonville divorce lawyer who can handle the issue of equitable distribution in your divorce case.