Finances & Property 2017-11-09T17:13:16+00:00

Florida is an Equitable Distribution state (sometimes called “Equitable Division”). This does not mean the court splits all the assets in half. Rather, the court considers a set of factors to determine what is fair in assigning marital property to each spouse.

The court will only “equitably divide” those assets that are considered marital property. Florida describes marital property/assets and liabilities as the following:

  • Marital property is the property accumulated during the marriage, individually or by either spouse or jointly by them;
  • The enhancement in value and appreciation of nonmarital assets resulting either from the efforts of either party during the marriage or from the contribution to or expenditure thereon of marital funds or other forms of marital assets, or both;
  • Interspousal gifts during the marriage;
  • All vested and nonvested benefits, rights, and funds accrued during the marriage in retirement, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, deferred compensation, and insurance plans and programs.
  • (See Fla. Stat. § 61.075 for full text of the law).

Nonmarital property (i.e. nonmarital assets and liabilities) are set aside when the court is distributing the marital estate. The court will only distribute the marital assets and liabilities.

Florida describes nonmarital property/assets and liabilities as the following:

  • Assets acquired and liabilities incurred by either party prior to the marriage, and assets acquired and liabilities incurred in exchange for such assets and liabilities;
  • Assets acquired separately by either party by non-interspousal gift, bequest, devise, or descent, and assets acquired in exchange for such assets;
  • All income derived from nonmarital assets during the marriage unless the income was treated, used, or relied upon by the parties as a marital asset;
  • Assets and liabilities excluded from marital assets and liabilities by valid written agreement of the parties, and assets acquired and liabilities incurred in exchange for such assets and liabilities; and
  • Any liability incurred by forgery or unauthorized signature of one spouse signing the name of the other spouse.
  • (See Fla. Stat. § 61.075 for full text of the law).

In Florida, the court considers the following factors when assigning marital property to each spouse:

  • The contribution to the marriage by each spouse, including contribution to the care and education of the children and services as a homemaker;
  • The economic circumstances of the parties;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party;
  • The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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 the best interest of the child or that party, and it is financial 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;
  • 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; and
  • Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
  • (See Fla. Stat. § 61.075 for full text of the law).