Equitable Distribution

Florida law provides for equitable distribution of marital assets in the event of divorce. Although equitable is sometimes thought of as 50/50, that is not entirely correct. Equitable means a fair distribution of the assets and liabilities accumulated by the parties during the marriage. Assets may be tangible, such as a home, boat or vehicle, or intangible, such as bank or retirement accounts. Liabilities include mortgages, vehicle loans and credit card debt. Typically, the value of a home or vehicle purchased during the marriage would be divided equally between the parties, as would the mortgage or vehicle loan. The name on the deed, title or loan does not change the marital character of the asset or liability if the asset or debt was acquired during the marriage with marital funds, usually meaning income earned during the marriage.

However, if an asset was purchased with non-marital or premarital money, the distribution of that asset will be distributed based upon the contributions by the parties. If one party owned a home or other asset before the marriage, the other party may be entitled to part of the value of that asset, even though it was a premarital asset. The implications of equitable distribution can be complex and confusing. Consider consulting with a family law practitioner to understand the rules regarding distribution.