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How Is Property Divided in Divorce?

Equitable Distribution in Florida

How Florida Divides Marital Property in a Divorce

During a divorce in Florida, the property is divided by the Equitable Distribution principle. This means that separate property is kept separate, while marital (jointly held) property is divided equitably. This can mean an equal or unequal division of assets for both parties.

Difference Between Equitable Distribution & Community Property

  • Equitable Distribution - Non-marital property belongs to the spouse who earned it, while marital property will be divided equitably between the two parties. The court will consider various factors when determining equitable distribution.
  • Community Property - Money earned or property acquired during a marriage belongs equally to each spouse, regardless of who earned it. The same principle will also generally apply to debt acquired during a marriage.

What Factors do the Florida Courts Consider for Equitable Distribution?

The 2018 Florida Statutes outline the various factors that the court will take into consideration when determining how to equitably divide marital property in a divorce.

  • 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 assets and the nonmarital 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, and it is financially feasible for the parties to maintain the residence until the child is emancipated or until exclusive possession is otherwise terminated by a court of competent jurisdiction. 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 necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.

Contact The Law Office of Jody L. Fisher

Some states follow the Community Property principle, but most states (including Florida) follows the Equitable Distribution principle. If you are going through a divorce and would like to learn more, don't hesitate to contact The Law Office of Jody L. Fisher to schedule your consultation! Our family law attorney can provide insight and guidance specific to your case.

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