Equitable Distribution of Assets in Florida
Divorce is a difficult and emotionally taxing time, and asset distribution is often of paramount concern. Florida’s equitable distribution law accounts for individual circumstances, meaning that not all asset distributions are equal splits. When navigating equitable distribution, you deserve an experienced attorney who has your best interests in mind. The team of divorce attorneys at The Law Offices of Travis R. Walker, P.A., is ready to support you every step of the way.
Florida marital property law states that assets and liabilities are divided during a divorce according to the principle of equitable distribution. Under equitable distribution, marital assets are split up based on a holistic view of what is fair to each party on a case-by-case basis rather than splitting everything 50/50, no matter what.
Equitable distribution considers a variety of factors, which means these proceedings are often complex. Understanding Florida asset division during divorce proceedings is essential to help you walk away with a fair and favorable outcome. The Law Offices of Travis R. Walker, P.A., team is here to help you navigate asset distribution and every other divorce-related matter.
Understanding Equitable Distribution
Florida utilizes an equitable distribution system under Florida Statute 61.075 when dividing marital assets and debts. With equitable distribution, the court considers each party’s circumstances rather than simply dividing property 50/50.
Equitable vs. Equal Distribution Florida
Equitable distribution is distinct from the principle of community property and equal distribution some states utilize. Community property states split assets and debts 50/50. In contrast, the goal of equitable distribution is fairness rather than total equality.
Types of Assets Subject to Distribution in Florida
When discussing assets subject to distribution, it is important to distinguish between marital vs. non-marital assets in Florida. There are several types of marital assets. The most common marital assets are those purchased or acquired during the marriage. Marital property also includes the appreciation or enhancement in value of assets resulting from the efforts of either spouse during the marriage.
There are also several types of non-marital assets. Some of the most common non-marital assets include assets that belonged to a party before the marriage, assets given to one spouse by someone other than their spouse—such as gifts or bequests—that were kept separate from marital assets, and income derived from non-marital assets that was not treated or used as a marital asset.
An experienced attorney can help you identify whether an asset is marital or non-marital.
Marital assets are subject to equitable distribution, but non-marital assets remain with the party that originally owned them.
Some examples of assets that are commonly involved in equitable distribution include the following :
Debts and other liabilities incurred during the marriage are also subject to equitable distribution. For example, if one of the parties took out a student loan before the divorce, this debt would be divided equitably between the two parties based on the circumstances.
Factors Influencing Asset Distribution in Florida
Florida equitable distribution factors that influence asset division include:
The judge will consider all these factors and other considerations on a case-by-case basis. Equitable distribution seeks to look at the whole picture to divide up assets in the fairest possible manner.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements in Equitable Distribution
Some spouses enter into prenuptial or postnuptial agreements to outline their desired distribution of assets and debts in the case of divorce. These agreements override equitable distribution considerations at divorce.
However, prenuptial or postnuptial agreements must meet certain requirements to be legally enforceable in Florida. Both parties must voluntarily agree, and each party must fairly and reasonably disclose their property and obligations unless the other party waives the right to such disclosure.
The Process of Equitable Distribution in Florida
After filing for divorce, the parties will start negotiating the distribution of assets. The approach to asset distribution varies based on the type of divorce. In an uncontested divorce, the parties will reach an agreement without court intervention. In collaborative divorces, couples choose to resolve these issues outside of the court system through mediation, while contested divorces must go through the legal process.
The parties will typically attempt mediation or negotiations before bringing a contested divorce to a judge. During mediation, a neutral third party will help the parties negotiate an asset division agreement. The mediator will guide both parties through reaching an agreement regarding asset division.
However, mediation is not always successful in settling asset divisions. When no agreement is reached during mediation, the next step is litigation. During litigation, the judge will hear from both sides and order the division of assets based on the principles of equitable distribution. This order is legally enforceable.
How the Divorce Lawyers at Travis Walker Can Help
Asset division is a complex and often overwhelming process. While equitable distribution helps make the division of assets fair and holistic, it is still time-consuming and complicated. Having experienced legal counsel on your side is beneficial when navigating the nuances of equitable distribution in Florida.
The Law Offices of Travis R. Walker, P.A., offers various services for divorce and asset division cases. We provide legal representation every step of the way, through mediation, hearings, and trials, to help guide you to a fair and equitable outcome. Past client testimonials describe our attorneys as insightful, professional, and proactive. Our skilled team of divorce attorneys is ready to offer compassionate and trustworthy legal services in your equitable distribution case.
We have experience handling complex asset distribution cases, including high-asset divorces and military divorces. Contacting a Stuart, Florida divorce lawyer at The Law Offices of Travis R. Walker, P.A., is an important first step in successfully navigating the asset division process.
Preparing for Your Case
When preparing for asset distribution during a divorce, gather all necessary information ahead of time to improve your chances of winning a fair and favorable outcome.
Gathering all financial documents, including bank statements, information on debts, tax returns, and loan paperwork, is an essential first step. Other necessary information might include items like the deeds to shared property. It is vital to be transparent with finances during this process—withholding financial information can result in punishment such as fines or even jail time.
Your attorney will help gather and preserve the necessary financial documents and other information. Working collaboratively with your attorney and being honest with them is the best way to prepare for your case.
We Can Help You Achieve Equitable Distribution in Your Divorce
Equitable distribution is the guiding legal principle when splitting up assets and debts in Florida divorce cases. The parties must consider many factors and equitable distribution determinations frequently become complex and confusing. Having professional legal assistance on your side can make navigating the equitable distribution process easier.
During difficult times, professional legal assistance is a valuable resource. The Law Offices of Travis R. Walker, P.A., has a team of top-rated equitable distribution attorneys who can property your rights and interests during the asset distribution process. We offer personalized guidance and representation in any divorce-related matters, including equitable distribution in Florida.
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