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Understanding Equitable Distribution in Florida
When marriages end, many complex issues must be dealt with before spouses can part ways. While child custody and alimony are often the most hotly contested matters during a divorce proceeding, sometimes the division of property and assets can be just as trying. Depending on whether you and your spouse are going through a contested or uncontested divorce, your equitable distribution situation may be complicated.
One of the first tasks is to determine if you or your spouse have any separate property. Separate property is non-marital and thus may not be divided. Below are common types of separate property:
- Any property, assets and debts you and your spouse decide are separate in a valid written agreement such as a premarital agreement
- Any income generated from the separate property, unless you and your spouse have comingled the property with marital property
- Gifts (not from your spouse)
- Anything you purchased with or exchanged for separate property
It is important to recognize that the court looks at many factors, including the length of your marriage, both you and your spouse’s financial situation and both you and your spouse’s overall contribution to the marriage, when determining how marital assets should be divided.
No matter what stage you are at in your divorce, you should seek help from an experienced attorney. The equitable distribution process can be especially confusing unless you have a background in law. A skilled lawyer can assist you with assessing property and determining which properties and assets may be considered non-marital.