If you’re contemplating a divorce in the near future, it’s only natural to start thinking about how you’re going to have to divide up your property with your spouse. While community property states, like California, pretty much divide everything in half between divorcing spouses, Florida takes what is known as the “equitable” distribution approach.
What’s that mean? The court starts with the idea that it’s fair to split a divorcing couple’s assets and debts right down the middle, but it leaves the door open to the idea that an unequal distribution may be justified once “all relevant factors” are examined.
In other words, if you don’t think that it’s fair that you’re saddled with half of the debts when your shopaholic spouse ran up the bills on personal luxuries, you can contest the court’s division. Similarly, you can argue that you’re due more than half of the marital assets simply because you were the person who worked 80-hours a week while your spouse spent most of their time pursuing their hobbies.
There are numerous factors that the court may consider when deciding where to move the needle between “even” and “equitable.” They include things like the length of your marriage, each party’s relative economic circumstances, the contributions each party made to the marriage, whether or not one party gave up their career to make life easier for the other, issues involving intentional waste of the communal assets and so on.
If a split with your spouse is likely, don’t try to guess what you’ll be left with following the divorce. An experienced attorney can help you better understand the possibilities and options by discussing the specifics of your situation.