Equitable Distribution

Florida is known as an equitable distribution state when it comes to dealing with the distribution of property. This means that regardless of how property may be titled, any assets or liabilities acquired during the marriage are considered martial in nature, and subsequently subject to distribution. The duration of a marriage is considered to be from the date a couple is married until the date a petition for dissolution of marriage is FILED; not when a final judgment is entered. Anything a party acquires prior to the marriage may be considered non-marital if kept separate, and anything acquired after a petition is filed may be considered non-marital. Of course, the process of equitable distribution is much more complicated, as it involves various exceptions not addressed herein. The general rule, however, is that unless a party can prove otherwise, anything acquired during the course of the marriage will be considered marital and subject to division by a court of competent jurisdiction.

 

One thing to always keep in mind, is that property is not subject to “equal” division, rather only “equitable” division. The court will consider an unequal division of property under certain circumstances that are more formally addressed in Florida Statute 61.075. The process of equitable distribution can be one of the more complicated areas of any divorce proceeding. It is important to consult with a lawyer to determine what you may or may not be entitled to.