Protect Your Property - Talk to Us About Equitable Distribution Laws in Satellite Beach, FL

Protect Your Property - Talk to Us About Equitable Distribution Laws in Satellite Beach, FL

Many people have the idea that equitable distribution means equal distribution. In Florida, the law requires that property acquired during the course of the marriage be distributed equitably. Equitable and equal are not the same thing. However, the starting point concerning marital property and marital liabilities is an equal distribution scheme, regardless of how title is held so long as the property or liabilities are "Marital". In other words, and by way of example, if you or your spouse purchased a vehicle during the marriage and titled that vehicle in his or her name alone, that vehicle would be a marital asset and subject to equitable distribution. However, if a vehicle was given to you in a will after a relative passed away, that vehicle would generally not be a marital asset and would belong exclusively to you. This vehicle would not be subject to equitable distribution and is basically not part of the marital assets to be divided; you would simply get the car. Also, if you owned property before the marriage, it is generally considered non-marital or pre-marital property; again it is not subject to equitable distribution. Complicating matters is when assets acquired before marriage become mixed with marital assets, such as bank accounts that were brought into the marriage where you then put your spouse's name on the account.

Equitable Distribution in Satellite Beach, FL

With the above being said, the Court can distribute marital assets and marital liabilities unequally after considering several factors, including:

  • The contribution to the marriage by each spouse, including contributions to the care and education of the children and services of a 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 having incurred liabilities of both the marital assets and the non-marital assets of the parties.
  • The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for a 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 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, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within two years prior to the filing of the petition.
  • Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.

It takes the skills of an experienced family lawyer like Robert S. Hannan to make recommendations to help determine fair and equitable distribution of assets and to protect what is rightfully yours. Call 321-361-0753 for a consultation.