What does equitable distribution mean for a Florida high net worth divorce?

Florida is one of the 41 states that employ equitable distribution as a method for dividing marital property in the event of a high net worth divorce. Equitable distribution does not imply a 50/50 split in assets and debts but rather a fair allocation considering several factors, such as each spouse’s contribution to the marriage.

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Equitable distribution is one of the ways in which a legal court can divide marital assets and debts during a high net worth divorce. Florida is one of the states that uses this process to ensure a fair and reasonable property division, considering the individual circumstances of each divorce case.

The high number of assets and their respective worth involved in high asset divorces can prove to be particularly complex when it comes to equitable distribution. The value of each asset can be accurately determined by enlisting the support of a strong legal and financial team so that each party has a clear insight into what is subject to distribution.

The types of assets subject to equitable distribution in a high asset divorce can include, without being limited to:

  • investments
  • real estate
  • business interests
  • stocks
  • retirement accounts
  • other valuable property

Factors playing a role in determining equitable distribution in high net worth divorces

Equitable distribution does not necessarily imply equal distribution. The Florida courts have the discretion to divide marital assets and debts in a fair and just manner, considering every high net worth divorce circumstances.

The equitable distribution process starts with determining which assets and debts are considered marital and which separate. Marital property is acquired during the marriage and is subject to distribution. Separate property can be in possession of either spouse from before the marriage or obtained as a gift or inheritance during the marriage. Separate property is not meant for distribution purposes.

In Florida, the court will take into consideration a variety of factors when determining an equitable distribution of assets, including:

  • any written agreements between the parties, such as a prenuptial agreement
  • the duration of the marriage
  • the income and future earning potential of each spouse
  • the spouses' contribution to the marriage, including monetary and non-monetary contributions
  • which spouse has primary custody of the children
  • the right to alimony or spousal support
  • any instances of marital misconduct such as extramarital affairs or domestic violence
  • the needs of each spouse after the divorce

Any prenuptial or postnuptial agreement the spouses entered into will be considered in the equitable distribution process. When these documents are fair and reasonable, the court attributes them significant weight because they outline the prior agreement between spouses on how the marital property is to be divided.

If one of the spouses has a significantly higher income or future earning potential than the other spouse, the court may award a greater share of the assets to the spouse with a more vulnerable financial status to provide them with economic security after the divorce.

Equitable distribution aims to ensure a fair division of marital property, taking into account the needs and circumstances surrounding both parties. A competent Florida high net worth attorney can make sure your interests are protected throughout the equitable distribution process. High net worth divorces tend to be complex and present significant financial consequences for both parties. Financial security is not something to be treated lightly, so we encourage you to reach out to The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary as soon as possible. We strongly advocate for the rights and interests of our clients.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.