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Equitable Division of Property in Divorce
One of the most disputed areas of a divorce proceeding is the division of property. This decides what effects and finances both parties are entitled to following a divorce. Sometimes the amicable division of property is possible, but that is not always the case.
If problems arise when divvying up belongings between spouses, it may be necessary to hire a family law lawyer to help you settle the dispute.
The division of property does not only apply to personal belongings and real property but also finances, including debts and financial assets. Marital debts accrued during the marriage, such as credit cards and loans, must be assigned as someone’s responsibility as well, usually the person who earns the greatest amount of money. The courts generally assign property owned prior to a marriage to the individual who bought it.
What is equitable distribution?
Equitable distribution is the fair and just distribution of the parties’ marital assets and debts in a dissolution of marriage proceeding. The Court’s distribution is not automatically split between the parties equally. In order for the Court to make a fair distribution to both parties, a number of factors must be carefully taken into account.
Relevant factors which justify an unequal distribution:
Pursuant to Florida Statute § 61.075(1), the following factors must be carefully considered when determining equitable distribution:
- “The contribution to the marriage by each spouse, including contributions to the care and education of the children and services as homemaker.
- The economic circumstances of the parties.
- The duration of the marriage.
- Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party.
- The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse.
- The desirability of retaining any asset, including an interest in a business, corporation, or professional practice, intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party.
- The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of, or the incurring of liabilities to, both the marital and non-marital assets of the parties.
- The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage, or any other party, when it would be equitable to do so, it is in the best interest of the child or that party.
- It is financially feasible for the parties to maintain the residence until the child is emancipated or until a court of competent jurisdiction otherwise terminates exclusive possession. In making this determination, the court shall first determine if it would be in the best interest of the dependent child to remain in the marital home; and, if not, whether other equities would be served by giving any other party exclusive use and possession of the marital home.
- The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition.
- Any other factors are necessary to do equity and justice between the parties”.
What is or is not a “marital asset” and how that asset is valued is extremely important and can be very complicated. If you feel that your situation warrants hiring a divorce attorney, contact Winig Law. We are experienced in all areas of divorce law, and can help in your divorce from start to finish.
A Divorce Attorney You Can Trust
Stephen L. Winig, Esq. has been a divorce attorney in West Palm Beach and surrounding areas for forty years. He takes pride in the fact that Winig Law is, in every sense of the phrase, a “family practice.” Everyone walking through our door is afforded the same respect, fairness, and consideration as a trusted relative.
We know how delicate and deeply personal Family Law and Divorce issues are to our clients. We are honored you chose to turn to us.