What Factors Are Considered During Equitable Distribution?
If you’re going through a divorce in Florida, one of your primary concerns is probably property division. Who gets what? How are certain assets divided? Who gets to stay in the family home, and who is forced to find somewhere else to live? These are all questions that may arise during the property division process. In Florida, divorcing spouses must follow a system known as “equitable distribution.” But what exactly is equitable distribution, and how can you strive for the best possible results as you end your divorce?
The first step is always to get in touch with a qualified, experienced divorce attorney in Orlando. These legal professionals can help you understand exactly what to expect as you approach the property division process, and you can rely on their advice. Even better, they’ll help you use a range of strategies to help you keep hold of your most valued assets. It’s best to book a consultation as soon as possible if you’re serious about achieving solid results with your divorce.
Equitable Distribution Explained
Equitable distribution is an alternative to the “community property” system used by many other states. While community property states split everything in a “fair,” 50/50 manner, equitable distribution states like Florida take a more “equitable” approach (1). Instead of simply splitting everything down the middle, family courts consider a number of relevant factors when dividing property.
Factors Considered in Equitable Distribution
Here are the various factors that family courts may consider when dividing property in Florida:
- The Spouses’ Contributions: “Contributions” aren’t always financial. Although one spouse might be the primary breadwinner, the other might be contributing in less obvious ways, including caring for children and homemaking.
- Your Economic Circumstances: Courts may also consider the economic circumstances of both spouses. Is one spouse in need of financial support? Does one spouse have a considerable fortune due to inheritance? Which spouse earns more?
- The Length of the Marriage: If the marriage didn’t last very long, spouses are less likely to lose their assets in a divorce. If the marriage lasted for several decades, spouses are more likely to lose assets.
- Career Interruptions: The family court may also consider whether one spouse’s career was interrupted due to the marriage. For example, one spouse might have been forced to end their career in order to raise the children.
- Is the Asset More Important to One Spouse? Desirability is an important factor when it comes to equitable distribution. Which spouse needs the asset in question more? Which spouse wants the asset in question more? For example, one spouse might spend much more time using the family boat. Or perhaps one spouse might desperately need the car for work or business.
- Wasting of Assets: Courts also consider whether certain assets were wasted (2). If you spend money on gambling or an adulterous affair, you’re more likely to lose assets in a divorce as a kind of “punishment.”
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
For help from a skilled Orlando divorce attorney, look no further than Steve Marsee, P.A. We know that the property division process can seem incredibly daunting at times – especially when you have a number of high-value sheets you’d like to keep hold of. With the right legal assistance, you can maintain ownership of everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Book your consultation today to get started.