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  • By: Mireya Lacayo, Esq.
  • Published: June 28, 2022
Equitable Distribution – What Does This Mean?

Equitable Distribution is the “formal” term to describe the process of dividing marital and non-marital assets and liabilities (debts) of the parties. The Court strives to create an equal distribution between the parties, unless there is a justification for an unequal distribution.

What Would Justify An Unequal Distribution Of Assets And Liabilities?

In awarding an unequal distribution of assets and liabilities, the Court considers the following:

  • What did each party contribute to their union?
    • Is either party a stay-at-home dad or stay-at-home mom?
  • What are the economic circumstances of these parties?
    • What are the respective salaries of each of the parties?
    • Consider the Financial Affidavits of both parties
  • How long were these parties married?
  • Did either party interrupt their personal career or educational opportunities for the other?
  • Did one spouse contribute to the other spouse’s personal career or education?
  • Does either party wish to retain a particular asset free of any claims by the other?
  • What did each spouse contribute to the asset to enhance said asset, or, in the alternative, did either spouse incur a majority of the liabilities?
  • Do the parties wish to maintain the marital residence for their children? Is it in the best interests of the child(ren) to continue to reside in the marital residence?
  • Did either party intentionally waste, deplete, or destroy any of the marital assets after filing for divorce or within two years prior to filing?

While this is not an exhaustive list, the Court may consider the answers to the inquiries above. To avoid leaving distribution of marital assets and liabilities in the hands of a Judge, parties may enter into a stipulation or agreement at any time.

Should the parties be unable to reach an agreement on equitable distribution, the Court must make specific findings of fact based on competent, substantial evidence, considering the answers to the inquiries discussed above.

If you have questions or are concerned about dividing your marital assets and debts, call our office to schedule an initial consultation today at (813) 519-5919. Our legal team will discuss the facts of your case and create a plan of action to protect you and your interests.

Experienced Florida Family Law Attorney - Mireya Lacayo, Esq.

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