Depending on what state you live in, you may qualify for
equitable distribution. In states like Florida, for example, it is up to the court to do what
is "fair", or equitable, when splitting up liabilities and assets in
divorce. However, this does not always translate to a 50/50 split of the marital property.
Using "competent" and "substantial evidence," rather
than speculation and testimony, it is the court's duty to split up
the assets equitably. The court will usually start with non-marital liabilities
and assets, such as those that were obtained prior to the marriage. Yet
not all property acquired before the marriage is considered immune; if
the value rose substantially during the marriage, it could be included
in the final settlement.
Once this has been completed, the court will then determine whether an
inequitable distribution is warranted. By looking at factors like the
financial circumstances of both parties, the duration of the marriage
and each party's contributions to the marriage, the judge will arrive
at a conclusion. The judge must then outline his/her decision and explain
why the assets were divided as they were.
Have questions pertaining to equitable distribution?
Contact our legal team to consult with a
Jacksonville family law attorney.