Other than issues involving children, division of property (equitable distribution) is often the most contested issue in a divorce proceeding.
When property has been acquired during the course of a marriage, and that marriage is entering into a divorce proceeding, the division of marital property must be negotiated prior to the divorce being finalized. Property division (equitable distribution) is extremely important consideration in any divorce because acquired property may not only have financial worth implications, but often also involve sentimental value.
When the a fair distribution of marital property cannot be reached through mediation, Florida courts then have the responsibility to fairly divide the marital and non-marital property of the spouses which were acquired during the course of a marriage. When determining fair equitable division of marital property, the courts will make no distinction as to whose name the property may be titled in. This is because property acquired during a marriage is considered to be joint property.
For determining what assets and debt are marital, the law provides that the timeline used will be the date of the marriage to the date of the filing of the petition or the date of the entry into a valid separation agreement or the date that the judge determines to be just and equitable under the circumstances. Any assets or debt you brought into the marriage, to the extent it has retained it's non-marital character, will be yours going back out of the marriage. Any inheritances received during the marriage are non-marital to the extent any portion has not been gifted.
In dividing your assets and debt, the court must start off with the presumption of an equal distribution but courts can and do make unequal distributions based upon the circumstances.
When you must legally address Division of Marital Property or other Family law issues it is important to be made fully aware of your legal rights, options, and to have aggressive, detailed, and dedicated legal representation in your corner. Hiring an experienced marital property attorney may provide you the best opportunity to achieve your desired outcome, or a fair and reasonable resolution.