Property division, also known as equitable distribution in Florida, can be the most difficult and contentious part of the divorce proceedings. Property acquired during the marriage can be considered marital and jointly owned by both spouses. Usually, the court will seek to equally distribute the property, but under some circumstances, the court may award an unequal distribution.
There are many factors the court must consider in distributing property and liabilities. Some of these factors include:
- the length of the marriage.
- the contribution of each spouse to the marriage, although one party may be unemployed, the court must consider the contributions made as a spouse, homemaker and parent of the child or children.
- the relative income abilities of the parties.
- the best interest of the minor child or children.
- whether there has been intentional waste or dissipation of marital property within two (2) years prior to filing for divorce and after filing for divorce.
Retirement plans can be considered marital property. If the plan was started before the marriage and continued after the marriage, the court usually will award a one-half interest to each party of the marital portion of the retirement plan. The value of the plan accumulated prior to the marriage and after filing for divorce may be determined to be the separate property of the party who maintains the retirement plan.
Assets which may be non-marital can be considered for equitable distribution purposes, when the asset enhanced in value during the marriage, through the contributions of either party or marital contributions.
In the event the court finds there has been intentional waste or dissipation of marital assets within two (2) years prior to filing for divorce or after filing for divorce, the court may award an unequal equitable distribution to compensate for the lose due to waste or dissipation.
The Dorsey Firm has been representing clients in property division, also known as equitable distribution cases for over thirty five (35) years and is committed to providing competent and aggressive representation for our clients.
For more information call our office at (904) 346-3883 or Contact Us for an appointment and learn your rights.