Florida is an equitable distribution state. This means the court will “equitably” distribute the parties’ assets and liabilities, this does not mean the court will “equally” distribute parties assets and liabilities. Assets and liabilities are deemed marital if they are acquired between the time period from when the parties get married to when one party files an action for divorce. Once the assets and liabilities are deemed martial, the court will then look at the entirety of the martial estate and divide it “equitably”. This does not mean a party is entitled to half the house or half of the business for example, rather each spouse is entitled to half of the entire marital estate, liabilities included. Courts are able to distribute assets in an unequal manner for several reasons, including, dissipation, a need for additional assets, the length of the marriage, greater contribution to certain assets by one party, contribution of pre-marital assets as well as several other factors codified in Florida Statute 61.075. It is sometimes not as simple as dividing the estate 50/50.
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