“Equitable distribution” is defined as how a couple divides their property and debts in a divorce. Florida law requires an equitable division, and in most cases, “equitable” means “equal.”
Ian C. Hurley will work with your best interests in mind to ensure the courts distribute all assets in a fair and equitable way.
Before dividing their assets, a couple must determine if either spouse owns any of the property separately. This includes assets owned before the marriage or received as a gift during the marriage.
Separate property is not considered when dividing assets in a divorce. They remain with the spouse who owns it.
Separate property may include:
Separate property can be converted into marital property by changing the title into a form of joint ownership, making a gift to the other spouse. However, convincing a court to consider certain joint properties as separate isn’t easy.
Florida considers marital property to be assets and debts either spouse acquired during the marriage. Unless there is a valid written agreement stating otherwise, the property or debt is only recorded in one spouse’s name.
Assets acquired and liabilities incurred during the marriage, individually or jointly may include:
Marital property can be divided by the couple or with a mediator’s help. If a couple can’t reach an agreement, a judge or arbitrator will make a decision.
Factors that go into the decision include:
Generally, debt is divided equally between spouses. Making payments on the debt is assigned to one of the two spouses. But the court does take all factors into consideration and may divide debt unequally, such as credit card debt when they deem it the fair thing to do.