Florida law provides for equitable distribution of the marital assets and marital debts in a divorce. Does this mean that all marital assets and marital debts will be split equally? Not necessarily. Instead, the assets and debts will be split in a way the court considers to be fair, or equitable.
First, the court will distribute any premarital assets and premarital debts to each spouse. This may be straightforward but can be complicated by an asset’s increase in value during the marriage. Next, the court will distribute the marital assets and marital debts. Unless there is a prenuptial/premarital agreement, all assets and debts either spouse acquired during the marriage are considered marital. It does not matter if the asset or debt is in both names or only in one spouse’s name, it is marital.
In distributing the marital assets and marital debts, what the court finds fair is based on the specific circumstances of each case. The court will consider a number of different factors, including the length of the marriage, the contribution to the marriage by each spouse, career sacrifices made by a spouse, child rearing and homemaking, and the overall financial situation of each spouse.
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