Call 24/7 - Orlando






Unequal Distribution of Marital Assets in Florida Divorces: A Comprehensive Guide.

Property distribution
Property distribution

While the division of assets in a divorce case may seem simple, there are complex nuances that often arise. In certain cases, the court may allow for an unequal distribution of marital assets. It is important to know when an
unequal distribution of assets is warranted and under what circumstances a judge may consider awarding such a distribution.

An unequal distribution of assets is permitted pursuant to section 61.075, Florida Statutes. It is important to note that there is no requirement for your attorney to plead for an unequal distribution in your divorce petition. The
attorney can simply request an unequal distribution as part of your case. The statutory factors for unequal distribution include, but are not limited to:

1. Contributions to the Marriage: The court assesses each spouse’s contributions, both financial and non-financial, to the marriage.

2. Duration of the Marriage: The length of the marriage is a crucial factor, as longer marriages may warrant a more substantial distribution to ensure financial fairness.

3. Economic Circumstances: The financial situation of each party is evaluated, taking into account their income, earning capacity, and financial obligations.

4. Contributions to Child Rearing: If one spouse has taken on a greater role in child-rearing, the court may consider this when distributing assets.

5. Interruption of Personal Careers or Educational Opportunities: If one spouse sacrificed career or educational opportunities for the benefit of the marriage, the court may factor this into the distribution.

6. Contribution to the Enhancement of Marital Assets: Contributions to the enhancement of marital assets, such as improving a property or increasing the value of investments, are considered.

7. Intentional Dissipation, Waste, Depletion, or Destruction of Assets: If either party intentionally dissipates or wastes marital assets, it may impact the distribution.

Proving an unequal distribution of marital assets in a Florida divorce requires comprehensive evidence. Judges typically do not want to award an unequal distribution of assets unless the evidence is compelling. To prove your case, your attorney must gather and present detailed documentation that clearly illustrates the factors supporting an uneven split. This is extraordinarily important as the judge is going to be required to make specific findings off act as to why he or she awarded an unequal distribution. If the judge fails to do so, he or she may be reversed on appeal. If you or your attorney present the proper evidence, you are giving the judge the tools he or she needs to make specific findings of fact, if the judge rules in your favor.

Under section 61.075, Florida Statutes, a trial court “must begin with the premise that the distribution should be equal, unless there is a justification for an unequal distribution based on all relevant factors.” Vilardi v. Vilardi,225 So. 3d 395, 396 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017). “To justify unequal distribution, the trial court must include in the final judgment findings of fact supporting its determination.” Moses v. Moses, 347 So. 3d 385, 389 (Fla. 5th DCA 2021). Failure to include the required findings of fact could warrant reversal on appeal.

Navigating the terrain of unequal distribution of marital assets in Florida requires a thorough understanding of statutory factors and potential pitfalls. It is important to make sure you and your attorney knows the intricacies of dividing assets during a divorce. Approaching your divorce case with diligence and strategic foresight can better help you achieve the outcome you desire when it comes to equitable distribution.