Florida is not a community property state, where parties who are divorcing simply divide the marital assets and debts in half.

Florida is an equitable distribution state, with the court overseeing a division of property and debt that is fair but not necessarily equal. This allows a party to a divorce proceeding to pursue what they think is equitable and fair when dividing the marital estate.

Because the concept of what is “equitable” is an elusive one and the division of marital assets and liabilities is one of the most contested aspects of a Florida divorce.

Marital assets include everything from money, bank accounts, stocks and bonds , houses and other real estate, pensions and profit-sharing plans, insurance plans, automobiles, boats as well as many other items of value. This is where an experienced and aggressive lawyer can do a lot for a client. Sometimes one party does not want to be fair to the other and you have to fight it out.

You need a lawyer who won’t back down from a fight.

In addition to dividing up the assets of the marriage the court is also responsible for dividing up the debt acquired during the marriage. How a court divides your debt is also determined by equitable distribution.

The determination of who pays what debt is based on a variety of factors such as the earning capacity of each spouse and the contribution to the marriage by each spouse. Factors such as child responsibility, paying for college and things of this nature are also considered by the court.

Furthermore there are some assets that are non-marital assets. These would include gifts of between spouses during the marriage, inheritance non-marital assets whose value has been enhanced through the effort of both spouses, inheritance and other factors.

If you have any questions concerning this aspect of your divorce you should call an experienced lawyer to see how they may help you through this difficult period of your life.

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