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What Does Equitable Distribution Mean for Your Property?


Each state is equitable distribution, community property or falls somewhere in between. This is referring to how property is distributed in the event that a couple chooses to dissolve their marriage in divorce or separation. Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that all property is divided equitably in the event of a divorce. It is important here to note that equitable does not necessarily mean equal or fair. In order to better understand equitable distribution, it may be helpful to evaluate what it is not.

Florida is not a community property state. States like California, Washington and New Mexico are. Division of property under a community property standard means that when two people enter into a marriage union, their property is considered joint. Almost all of the property acquired while two individuals are married is considered community. Upon divorce, that property will be divided equally, to an extent. This might mean dividing items based on total value or property might be divided on an item-by-item basis.

This is not so in the case of equitable distribution. This principle states that the property each person brings into the marriage that they possessed before the union remains their separate property. The same is true for individual gifts. Because of this, property division in the event of a divorce could prove extremely unequal and unbalanced.

It might be relatively easy to think about equitable distribution in terms of tangible assets, but what about intangible ones? Things like trust funds, retirement funds and saving accounts will need to be divided in the event of a divorce. Here is an example scenario of what couple happen with a savings account. Say a woman had a savings account with $8,000 in it before she married her husband. Since that time, the couple jointly added to this savings account. Upon divorce, what happens?

While this would differ from case to case, a court would likely decide that the woman would keep the $8,000 and the money that was jointly put into the account would be divided based upon a number of factors such as each spouse's financial contribution to the marriage as a whole, how long the couple has been married, and more.

If you have made the decision to enter into divorce, trust the experienced divorce and family lawyers at Hutchinson Law. This firm has been assisting individuals through the difficult process of divorce in order to secure their rightful assets. The way your property is distributed will have a large impact on your future, so don't risk placing your future in the hands of an under-qualified law firm. Contact a Jacksonville divorce attorney from the firm today.