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Factors for Equitable Distribution of Marital Property

If you and your spouse cannot agree on how to divide your marital assets and debts, the court will have to divide your assets and debts at trial. You may be wondering, “how will the court divide my assets and debts?” On the surface, the answer is simple. Florida starts with the presumption that a fair division of marital assets means an equal division or 50/50 for all marital assets and debts. However, marital assets and debts may not be divided 50/50 in every case. The equal division presumption can be overcome by showing there is a justification for an unequal distribution based upon relevant factors listed out below. 
Florida starts with the presumption that a fair division of marital assets means an equal division
Fla. Stat. § 61.075(1) provides that the judge should consider the following relevant factors when deciding if an unequal distribution is warranted:
  • (a) The contribution to the marriage by each spouse, including contributions to the care and education of the children and services as homemaker.
  • (b) The economic circumstances of the parties.
  • (c) The duration of the marriage.
  • (d) Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party.
  • (e) The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse.
  • (f) 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.
  • (g) 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.
  • (h) 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.
  • (i) 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.
  • (j) Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that a judge would consider here. If you do not believe that splitting all marital assets equally (50/50) would be fair in your particular case, it would be a good idea to speak with an experienced Tampa or Orlando divorce lawyer about how the factors above apply to your case and how you may argue or negotiate for an unequal division rather than a 50/50 one. Unequal divisions come in many sizes, 51/49, 60/40 or even 70/30. The list of possibilities is endless since everyone's case is unique. 

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