While there are many issues that come to the forefront in a Florida divorce, property division can be especially contentious. A common source of confusion is the term “equitable distribution.” Some might think it means the assets will be divided equally as part of the settlement. That could be the case, but in some instances, it is not. Understanding the law is essential in these circumstances and it is frequently beneficial to have legal assistance.
Factors the court will consider with property division
From the outset of the case, the court will try to have equal distribution of the property. However, there are factors that can lead to unequal distribution. If these are in place, then the court is at its discretion to abandon the equal split of property and award it in a way it deems fair. In any marriage, there will be contributions from both spouses. If one contributed at a higher percentage than the other, then it is possible that a higher share of the property will be awarded to that person. Still, other factors such as caring for children and serving as a homemaker could be considered.
The economic situation will be analyzed. The duration of the marriage can be a critical part of the determination. If one side put aside his or her own aspirations, education and career to allow the other to advance, that can play a role on the allocation of marital property. In many instances, a person worked while the other went to school or learned skills to achieve a higher economic standard. This can be crucial in the case.
If there are children from the marriage, the marital home could be viewed in the context of the child’s best interests and the custodial parent might receive it so the upheaval does not hinder the child’s development. Some might intentionally deplete assets to hurt the other party. The court will look at how the assets might have been depleted over the previous two years and act accordingly.
Legal assistance can be imperative for property division
The court tries to achieve equity in a divorce, but there can be challenges and disagreements. To understand equitable distribution, be fully protected and have a good chance to get what the person believes he or she is entitled to, it is wise to have legal guidance and representation. A firm with experience in divorce, family law and property division can be helpful from the beginning.