Equitable Distribution of Marital Property in Florida Divorces
At Weiner & Weiss, LLC, we have particular experience assisting clients with middle to high income marital estates through the divorce process in Florida. When significant assets are involved in a divorce, property division can be extremely complex. Our lawyers thoroughly understand both the legal and financial aspects of identifying, characterizing and distributing property upon divorce.
We are a respected Boca Raton family law practice, representing clients throughout the coastal communities of southeast Florida.
Florida Property Division Law - Equitable Distribution
Under Florida's Equitable Distribution Law, property is to be divided equitably, though not always equally, between divorcing spouses. In order to devise a fair distribution of property, a court's first step is to characterize property as separate or marital property. A spouse's separate property generally consists of property a spouse owned before the marriage, property acquired by inheritance or gift, and personal injury payments.
Marital property consists of all property, other than separate property, bought during the marriage, regardless of how title is held (whose name is on the property). These assets will be divided between the spouses, and may include real property, personal property, automobiles, savings accounts, stocks, bonds, pension plans, retirement plans, and other items of value.
In some Florida divorce cases, premarital or non-marital assets may also be subject to equitable distribution. Courts can set off or equalize property depending on the parties' unique circumstances, making it important for family law attorneys to know the recent cases regarding this issue.
Dividing Marital Property
Once all of the parties' assets have been identified and characterized in a financial affidavit, a court must divide the marital property, typically taking into consideration one or more of the following factors:
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse's overall economic circumstances
- The desirability of allowing the couple's minor children, or either spouse, to continue living in the marital home
- Each spouse's contributions, including improvement of marital or non-marital assets, and contributions to the marriage either as an income-earner or as a parent or homemaker
- Whether either spouse interrupted a career or education during the marriage or contributed to the other spouse's career or education
- Each spouse's debts and liabilities
- Whether either spouse intentionally wasted or destroyed marital assets either after the divorce petition or within the two years preceding it
Courts also consider how difficult it is to divide certain assets, such as a business or home. For example, a judge may award a business started by one spouse during the marriage entirely to that spouse and award other property or money to the other spouse to make up for the marital interest in the business.
Contact Us for Skilled Divorce Representation in South Florida
If you are facing divorce and have concerns about property distribution, please contact Weiner & Weiss, LLC in Boca Raton. You need skilled legal counsel to protect your assets, interests and future security.