Tampa Divorce Lawyer Nilo J. Sanchez on Equitable Distribution
The Equitable Distribution of assets and debts in Florida is governed by Florida Statute 61.0075. Pursuant to this statute, the Florida Court is required to set apart to each spouse that spouses’s non-marital assets and liabilities . In distributing the marital assets and liabilities between the parties (husband and wife), the court must begin with the premise that the distribution should be equal between the parties, unless there is justification for an unequal distribution based upon relevant factors.
Assets and Liabilities that are not subject to distribution between the parties are non-marital assets and non-marital and liabilities. Non-marital assets and non-marital liabilities include:
- Assets acquired and liabilities incurred by either party prior to the marriage, and assets acquired and liabilities incurred in exchange for such assets and liabilities;
- Assets acquired separately by either party by non-interspousal gift, inheritance, and assets acquired in exchange for such assets;
- 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 assets.
- Assets and liabilities excluded as marital by a valid agreement between the parties.
- Any liability incurred by forgery or unauthorized signature of one spouse signing the name of the other spouse. Any such liability shall be a non-marital liability only of the party having committed the forgery.
The cut-off date for determining assets and liabilities to be identified or classified as a marital assets and liabilities is the earliest of the date the parties enter into a valid separation agreement, such other date as may be expressly established by such agreement, or the date of the filing of a petition for divorce.
The date for determining value of assets and the amount of liabilities classified as marital is the date or dates as the judge determines is just and equitable under the circumstances. The Court can value different assets by using different dates.
In general, all assets acquired and liabilities incurred by either spouse after the date of marriage and that are not otherwise classified as non-marital, are presumed to be marital assets and liabilities, subject to distribution between the parties by the Court.