How does Florida define equitable distribution?

When a court divides property in a divorce, it does so under the concept of equitable distribution. While the majority of states use this concept, each state has the right to define what equitable means. 

According to the Florida Statutes, this state defines it as dividing assets in an equal manner. At least, this is where the court starts its decision making, but it is not a hard rule. 

Factors impacting equal distribution 

The court will consider factors that could change the division of assets. These factors include the financial situation of you and your former spouse and each of your work histories. It will consider how you each contributed financially to the marriage. The court will also look at how long your marriage lasted. 

The court also considers what you each want. For example, you may have an asset that one you really wants but the other is indifferent about, which would make it easy for the court to make an award. 

Special situation 

The family home often is the largest asset at the center of a divorce. However, it also typically still has a mortgage, which complicates things. The court cannot change the mortgage. You and your spouse would have to handle that with your lender. However, the court can award the home to one of you. In doing so, it will consider if you have children and where they live. 

At the same time, the court will also make sure it makes financial sense to award the home. If you cannot afford the mortgage payments or upkeep, then the court will note that in its decision.