CLERMONT FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY:

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION

 

The distribution of property in a Florida divorce is covered by Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes. Rather than a community property state, such as California, Florida has adopted what is known as Equitable Distribution. Under the Equitable Distribution scheme, marital property is fairly divided between the parties.

 

The court will first award to each party their own non-marital property, such as property they had and retained prior to the marriage, and which did not become marital property.  Non-marital property, however, can become marital property--such as when one party brings a home into the marriage and places the other party on the title to the home.  A bank account owned prior to the marriage and maintained by only one party during the marriage, and not used for purposes related to the marriage or the other spouse, would likely retain its separate, non-marital classification.

 

Once a court has determined what is non-marital, or a spouse's separate property, the court will then determine how to distribute the marital property. The court will look to the factors contained in the Florida Statutes.

 

As can be expected, much litigation occurs over the distribution of assets in a dissolution of marriage in Florida.  Often, to facilitate agreement over the distribution of assets, the parties will attend a mediation whereby an independent third party (often a lawyer) will hear the arguments of both parties and work to achieve a reasonable agreement between them.  This can then form the basis for a Marital Settlement Agreement that can be filed in court.

Family Law Practice Areas

Divorce

Paternity

Child Custody / Child Support

Modifications

Equitable Distributions

Injunctions

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