Fort Lauderdale Equitable Distribution Lawyer
The term “equitable distribution” refers to the division of marital property in a Florida divorce. Florida law requires family court judges to divide the marital property in an equitable fashion, which may not necessarily be equal. Many factors go into ensuring a property division that is truly equitable and meets your needs post-divorce. At the law offices of Trachman & Ballot-Lena, PA, our skilled and experienced Fort Lauderdale equitable distribution lawyers help make sure that your rights are protected in the property division, and that the ultimate distribution of marital property reflects your interests.
Facts about Equitable Distribution in Fort Lauderdale Divorce
The court’s job in a Florida divorce is to divide the marital property. For the most part, property acquired during the marriage by either spouse is considered marital property, while property acquired before the marriage remains as each spouse’s separate property. There are exceptions to this general rule, however, and certain property acquired during marriage may be separate property, although separate property can become marital depending on how it is treated by the spouses. When dividing marital property, the court divides both marital assets and marital debts or liabilities.
Florida law requires the judge to make an equitable, or fair, distribution of marital property. While judges typically strive to divide property as equally as possible, there are a number of reasons why an unequal division may be equitable. Some of the factors the court can consider include:
- The length of the marriage
- Each party’s economic circumstances
- How much each party contributed to the marriage, including taking care of the home and children as well as contributing income
- Whether one spouse contributed to furthering the other spouse’s education or career
- Whether one spouse put his or her career on hold for the benefit of the marriage
- Whether it would be desirable for one party alone to retain certain assets, such as an interest in a business or professional practice
- How much each spouse contributed to the current state of the couple’s assets and debts
- Whether it would be desirable to award the marital home to one individual for the sake of the children
- Whether either spouse intentionally depleted or destroyed marital assets after the divorce was filed or anytime in the two years prior to the divorce filing
- Any other factors which would be necessary to a fair distribution
How Our Fort Lauderdale Family Law Attorneys can Help
The first thing we can do is make sure that every marital asset and debt is identified or located, properly characterized as marital or separate, and accurately identified. Some assets such as business interests, self-employment income and future interests can be difficult to value, and some spouses may intentionally hide or undervalue their assets. The first step to an equitable distribution is an accurate picture of the marital estate, and we can help make sure that disclosures made by you and your spouse are correct and complete.
We can also help by working with you and your spouse to decide on an equitable division of property. It is only when parties cannot agree that judges are compelled to impose a property division from the bench. Through negotiations, mediation or collaborative practice, our family law attorneys can help you reach an agreement with your spouse and prepare a marital settlement agreement that will be approved by the judge. If an agreement cannot be reached, our trial skills will help make sure that your voice is heard in the courtroom and that your interests are reflected in any final divorce decree.
Get Your Fort Lauderdale Property Settlement Done Right
For practical legal advice and excellent representation in a Fort Lauderdale drug crime prosecution, call Trachman & Ballot-Lena, PA at 954-462-2208 or Mr. Trachman’s cellphone at 954-288-9293 to have your case reviewed at no cost by an experienced and successful Broward County criminal defense attorney.