When a couple decides to end a marriage in Florida, splitting assets and debts is often one of the top stress-producing issues.
While the goal of most divorcing couples is to settle their differences and reach compromises that work for both, a judge may need to rule on the division of property and debt. Understanding what equitable distribution means under Florida law could aid in predicting the outcome in court.
What is equitable distribution?
Florida law subscribes to the equitable distribution method to divide assets during divorce. Under this, the court splits marital property after considering a multitude of factors, including:
- The length of the marriage
- The way each spouse contributed to the relationship emotionally and financially
- The pause of a career or an education to raise children
- The earning capacity of each spouse
Does dividing debt work the same way as assets?
While the court prefers an equal split, the judge may determine that a different ratio is fairer to both spouses. The court often divides debt the same way as assets. For instance, if one spouse makes more money, a judge may determine that the spouse will get less of the marital assets and more debt. The court examines and considers the future earning potential of both when deciding who gets what.
Equitable distribution allows the court some latitude when determining the division of assets and debts. Keep in mind that anything a couple accumulates during the course of their marriage is fair game for splitting when they divorce.