Equitable Distribution in Naples For Florida Divorces
Equitable distribution is the term that the courts use to determine how couples in Florida ending their marriage, divide their debts as well as their property. Community property rules in other states will demand an equal division of debts and marital property. However, Florida law requires an equitable distribution rule. The most important determination affecting your divorce in Florida has to do with the classification of separate and marital property.
What’s Included in Property Division?
An item of property is classified as separate if one spouse owned it prior to the marriage or acquired it over the course the marriage via inheritance or as a gift. Separate property also includes items exchanged for a purchase with separate property, debts, and assets that a couple defines as separate property in a pre-marital agreement and income from the separate property unless the spouses have treated it as marital property by commingling it.
Marital property in Florida typically includes all debts and assets that either spouse acquired over the course of the marriage. It does not matter if the debt related property is titled jointly or as only in one individual’s name. If your spouse has opened a credit card and your name is not on it, you are still jointly responsible for the charges in the card, even if your spouse was the one who ran up all the debt. Assets include benefits, property, money, retirement accounts and other information.
How is Property Divided by the Courts?
Couples are always eligible to make their own agreements about the division of property or with the help of a mediator. If they are unable to do so, courts will typically intervene and evaluate the circumstances including the following factors:
- Each spouse’s overall economic situation.
- Whether or not the minor children will continue living in the marital home.
- The length of the marriage.
- Each spouse’s debts.
- Whether one spouse interrupted in education or career to contribute to the other individual’s education or career.
Courts typically divide all marital debt equally, assigning responsibility for actual payment to one person or the other. With so much on the line for your future in property division in Naples, you need to be clear about all the assets and debts included in the divorce. Meeting with an experienced lawyer at the outset of your case can help you identify everything that belongs in your inventory of information so that you can take the next step to file for divorce in Florida. Equitable distribution will have a big impact on the rest of your life.