Because the State of Florida is an equitable distribution state all marital assets and liabilities will be “equitably” divided upon a divorce. Though this is true in theory in actual outcomes it does not necessarily mean that all property will be divided exactly in half. Equity means fairness; especially when there is great disparity in income production or when children are involved.
It’s important to understand that assets which were acquired as well as liabilities incurred during the marriage through the use of marital funds or marital labor is viewed by the Courts of Florida as a marital asset or marital liability. Assets include not only checking and savings accounts, but also include future benefits as can be found in pensions, 401(k)s, IRAs, vacation homes, stocks and bonds, mutual funds and even include valuables such as airline miles, credit card accounts, mortgages, HELOCs, and automobiles are all examples of potential marital assets and liabilities which must be divided.
Property which was acquired outside the marriage is known as nonmarital property, which was bought before the parties were married, possibly from an inheritance, or excluded due to a previously entered into pre-nuptial agreement, as long as the property was not commingled with marital assets.When there is a marital home, it’s important to know that real estate can’t be divided. Therefore, the marital home may either be sold for proper division of the home’s value or one spouse may need to do a “buy out” of the other spouse’s interest. Clearly, in any divorce the parents as well as Florida Courts must always seek what is in the best interest of any children involved, especially where there are minor children, a Court may make an award of exclusive use and possession of the marital home which lasts until the youngest child reaches what is legally termed, emancipation (18 or graduates from high school under most circumstances). Thus permitting the parent who spends the majority of the time with the children to live in the home without having to sell it or buy out the other spouse’s interest.
When faced with something as serious as Property Division, nothing but the very best Family Law representation will do. Should you choose to retain our services, you can trust that Richard Weldon will devote the time and energy needed to prepare a strong defense based on solid facts and evidence, and aggressively fight your charges from the beginning of the legal process until your case is resolved.
Florida Statutes 61.075 Equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities-