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Equitable Distribution Of The Assets And Liabilities

Definitions:

  • Marital assets and liabilities include

1.         Assets acquired and liabilities incurred during the marriage, either individually or by either party.

2.         Enhancement in value and appreciation on non-marital assets resulting either from the efforts of either party or from contribution of marital funds or other forms of marital assets.

3.         Inter-spousal gifts during the marriage.

4.         All vested and non-vested benefits, rights and funds accrued during the marriage in retirement, pension, profit sharing, annuity, deferred compensation and insurance plans and programs.

5.         Real property:  If the property is held by tenants by the entireties whether prior to during the marriage it shall be presumed a marital asset.

6.         Personal property:  If the personal property is jointly titled by the parties as tenants by the entireties it shall presumed to be a marital asset.

  • Non-marital assets and liabilities include:

1.         Assets acquired and liabilities incurred by either party prior to the marriage and assets and liabilities incurred in exchange for such assets or liabilities.

2.         Assets acquired separately by either party by non-interspousal gift, bequest, devise or descent and assets acquired in exchange for such assets.

3.         All income derived from non-marital assets during the marriage unless the income was treated, used or relied upon by the parties as a marital asset.

4          Assets and liabilities excluded from marital assets and liabilities by valid written agreement of the parties.

5.         Any liability incurred by forgery or unauthorized signature of one spouse signing the name of the other.

Pursuant to Florida Statute 61.075, the Court will separate each spouse’s non-marital assets and liabilities.  Marital assets and marital liabilities should be equally awarded to each party unless there is a reason for an unequal distribution based on the following factors:

  • The contribution to the marriage by each spouse including contributions to the care and education of the children and homemaker;
  • The economic circumstances of the parties;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The interruption of personal careers or educational opportunity of each party;
  • The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse
  • The desirability of retaining any asset including an interest in a business, corporation or professional practice, intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party;
  • The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement and production of income or the improvement of, or the incurring of liabilities to, both the marital assets and non-marital assets of the parties.
  • The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage, or any other party, when it would be in the best interest of the child or that party and it is financially feasible for the parties to maintain the residence until the child is emancipated or until exclusive possession or otherwise terminated by a court.  In making this determination the court shall first examine if it would be in the best interest of the dependent child to remain in the marital home; and if not, whether other equalities would be served by giving any other party exclusive use and possession of the home.
  • The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within two (2) years prior to following the petition.
  • Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.

The court may also award a cash payment for equitable distribution of the assets, paid in full or installments if one of the parties received a majority of the assets.  These awards shall not terminate upon remarriage or death of either party unless mutually agreed between the parties.

If the divorce is contested without an agreement, the assets and liabilities shall be supported by factual findings and whether equal or unequal shall include specific written findings of fact as to the following:

  • Clear identification of non-marital and marital assets and ownership interest;
  • Identification of marital assets, including the individual valuation of significant assets and designation of which spouse shall be entitled to each asset;
  • Identification of marital liabilities and designation of which spouse shall be responsible for each liability.
  • Any other findings necessary to advise the parties or the reviewing of the trial court’s rationale for the distribution of marital assets and allocation of liability.

A judgment distribution asset has the same effect as a duly executed conveyance, transfer, release or acquisition.  The cut off date for determining assets and liabilities to be identified as marital is the earliest of the date the parties entered into a valid separation agreement, as established by the agreement or the date of filing the petition for dissolution of marriage.

The court may provide for equitable distribution of assets and liabilities without regard to alimony.  After the determination of an equal distribution the court shall consider whether alimony shall be awarded.

Nancy McRoberts Parham, P.A.

210 N. Pierce St.
Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: (813) 228-0219
Fax: (813) 229-2439

Advocate For You

Nancy McRoberts Parham, P.A. serves clients in Tampa Bay in all aspects of Family Law. Armed with a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, Mediation Training, and Years of Experience, she aggressively advocates for her client's rights.

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