How are assets and liabilities divided in a divorce?
After a court identifies the characteristic of all assets and liabilities, the court must distribute those assets and liabilities fairly after considering the following factors:
- The contribution to the marriage by each spouse.
- The economic circumstances of the parties.
- The duration of the marriage.
- Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party.
- The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or the educational opportunity of the other spouse.
- The desirability of retaining any asset, including an interest in a business.
- The contributions of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of, or the incurring of liabilities too, both the marital assets and the non-marital assets of the parties.
- The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage.
- The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within two years prior to the filing of the petition.
- Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties. [Florida statute 61.075(1)]
An important point to note with regard to equitable distribution is that fault can come into play in the distribution of assets, if factor (i) comes into play. Generally, fault is not considered by the court. Please keep in mind there is a limitation of two years, so if your spouse is committing extreme financial mismanagement of marital assets, the court will only consider going back two years from the date of filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.