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Equitable Distribution the Division of Assets and Liabilities in a Divorce

| Jan 28, 2020 | Divorce and Family Law

In any divorce or dissolution of marriage, an area of great concern(s) is the division of assets and debts. In Florida, the law provides for an “equitable distribution” of marital assets and liabilities. While a divorce court must begin with the presumption that marital assets and liabilities are to be divided equally, the court may distribute the marital estate fairly or “equitably” instead. Fair is not always equal. Factors to be considered include the contribution of each spouse to the marriage; the duration of the marriage; and the economic circumstances of each spouse.  Alimony is determined after equitable distribution.

Assets may include cars, houses, retirement benefits such as a pension, IRA or 401(k), business interests, cash, stocks, bonds, bank accounts, promissory notes, personal property and other things of value. Debts include mortgages, car loans, credit card accounts and any money owed to third parties.

Assets and liabilities can be (1) nonmarital or (2) marital and some assets could be both. Generally, any asset or debt acquired during the marriage is considered marital and subject to equitable distribution. Any asset(s) or debt(s) that are considered nonmarital should be awarded to only one party. Examples of nonmarital assets are things like family furniture, heirlooms, or other inheritance. Whether a family business is a nonmarital asset or liability, depends on the totality of each individual circumstance.  The court generally approves of reasonable agreements; however, if the parties cannot agree, then the Court will decide the fate of any property or liabilities in a trial.

In all family matters, we perform a conflict check before setting a meeting and after consulting with one spouse, the firm could never consult with the other party or represent them in the dissolution. Therefore, the firm does charge a consultation fee in family cases. Please, click, call or fill out the form to begin the process. Any information gathered will be kept confidential.

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