Equitable distribution is generally one of the most hotly contested issues in a divorce. Arguably the most difficult area of a divorce is the division of assets and debts between the two spouses, aside from issues concerning child custody. Many folks going through a divorce just want to know essentially what am I going to get. A general rule of thumb the court uses is that assets, debts, and other financials will be distributed equally (or 50/50), hence the name “equitable distribution.” Essentially, the court will begin there and work its way from equal. However, the court strives to distribute property equitably and fairly, not necessarily always equally. There are circumstances that can cause assets to not be distributed equally through an unequal distribution. According to Florida Statute 61.075, the court will look at all relevant factors, including:
- (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.
Your Tampa divorce lawyer can work with you to ensure you are properly represented and you get what you deserve through equitable distribution. We have hand handled hundreds of family law cases throughout the Tampa Bay Area. For a free consultation, contact the Tampa divorce attorneys of Hackworth Law either by telephone, we have folks prepared to answer your calls 24 hours a day/7 days a week, our “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner and our chat box in the lower right hand corner. We appreciate you taking the time to review our blog and look forward to working with you.