Equitable Distribution in Florida Divorces
Dividing marital property is one of the most important financial aspects of a divorce. Florida is an equitable distribution state, meaning the courts will divide marital assets and debts so that it is fair but not always equal. The equitable distribution process is subject to the judge’s interpretation, having discretion over awarding assets - because of this process, it is best to retain a Miami FL divorce attorney with experience handling assets and estates.
Florida equitable distribution unfolds in a three-part process.
Identification: each spouse is required to disclose their property and make the case of whether each item belongs to the estate or is a separate possession of the spouse. Rules as to what is and is not the marital property can get complex, but the ones determined to be marital property are placed in the estate. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may be relevant.
Valuation: each item is assigned a value, calling for appraisals. They are subject to interpretation, so each spouse may elect to hire their own appraisers.
Distribution: When the estate's total value is calculated, the court will apply many factors to determine the amount each spouse can receive. Assets assigned under their awarded value percentage will be added to ensure the spouse receives the correct amount. In some cases, spouses can negotiate buyouts if they want a particular portion and have exceeded their allotted amount.
Equitable distribution can get complex. Trust a board-certified Miami family law lawyer to help you through the process. At Rafool, LLC, we have a track record of proven success with high-net-worth divorces, allowing us to understand the great amount of wealth at stake in your divorce. Visit us online to schedule a consultation.