The state of Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that joint assets are divided based on a number of factors. These factors typically include the length of the marriage, the physical condition of each spouse and each person’s needs after the divorce is finalized.
What was your earning capacity during the marriage?
If you earned more than your spouse during the marriage, he or she may be entitled to a greater share of marital assets in a final settlement. This is because it may be easier for you to replace joint property that is ceded to your former partner.
Are you physically able to provide for yourself?
In the event that you can’t work, you may be entitled to a larger share of marital property after your relationship comes to an end. This may be especially true if you don’t have savings, government benefits or other financial resources to offset your lack of wage income.
Do you have custody of your children?
Florida property division laws generally don’t take into account your status as a parent when determining who receives joint property in a divorce. However, it may be possible to use that status to gain leverage during settlement negotiations with your spouse. For instance, raising a child may make it easier to retain ownership of the family home. Even if you don’t retain permanent ownership of the asset, you may be allowed to live in it until your child reaches the age of majority.
An attorney may be able to further explain what it means to receive an equitable distribution in your divorce case. He or she may also be able to represent your interests during settlement talks or during a formal trial.