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.
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.