Property and Equitable Distribution
One of the most important and often complicated matters that will need to be addressed in connection with most divorces is that of distribution of marital property and debt. Florida law provides for equitable distribution of marital property and debt in the event of divorce. Equitable is not synonymous with equal. While the court is required to begin with the premise that distribution should be equal, the court must consider no fewer than ten (10) separate factors, ranging from the contribution to the marriage of each spouse, including those of a homemaker, to the intentional squandering of marital property by a spouse, in determining whether unequal distribution of marital property and debt would, in fact, be more equitable.
Distribution of marital property and debt in a divorce requires legal counseling. Let our Jacksonville Family Law Attorneys guide you through the process.
To complicate matters further, it can be very difficult to tell whether a certain item of property or debt is marital or non-marital. Generally, non-marital property and debt are property and debt accumulated prior to marriage, not jointly titled; whereas, marital property and debt are property and debt accumulated during the marriage, regardless of title. Many exceptions apply, however. For example, property received by one spouse via gift or inheritance during marriage is likely to be treated as non-marital; whereas, passive appreciation in value of property acquired by one spouse prior to marriage is likely to be treated as marital to the extent of such appreciation. Additionally, equitable distribution may have a direct impact on awards of alimony. (Please see the Alimony section on this website for further information regarding establishment and enforcement of alimony.) In order to mitigate the potential financial impact of equitable distribution, individuals may elect to protect their non-marital property and make other important arrangements through the use of premarital and post-marital agreements.
In any event, if equitable distribution of marital property and debt is a matter of dispute in your case, you should consult with an attorney experienced in family law litigation at Grigaltchik & Galustov, P.A., at (904) 701-7180, who will fight for your rights and help you obtain and present crucial evidence in support of your position to the court.