Anyone in Florida who has been involved in a divorce case knows that, for most people, there are four main areas that need to be addressed: property and debt division; alimony; child custody; and child support. Of course, for divorcing couples who do not have children, two of those issues are off the table. But, no matter how simple or how complicated you think your divorce case will be, depending on the issues that need to be addressed, there are certain terms that you will become familiar with quite quickly. In many cases, the term “equitable distribution” is the most important term of all.
Why? Well, for some couples, particularly those involved in high-asset divorce cases or for those who do not have children involved in the case, the division of assets is the most important issue to address. In Florida, if a family law judge is left to make the decisions about the assets involved in the case, that judge will focus on how to achieve a split that is an “equitable distribution” of the assets.
In essence, this standard means that a judge will seek to divide assets in a way that is “fair.” This, most importantly, does not always mean a 50/50 split. The unique factors of your case – family dynamics and contributions, income prospects, etc. – will bear on how a judge arrives at a decision that is “equitable” for the split of assets.
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The “equitable division” standard is one reason why many couples decide that they want to try to negotiate their own split when it comes to assets. Mediation or even direct negotiations between the parties may help. But, the prospects for success in those endeavors is completely dependent on the divorcing couple.