Our readers in Florida may have heard the term, “equitable distribution” as it relates to property division in divorce cases. However, this legalese-type term may leave some people wondering what, exactly, it means. So, how will “equitable distribution” effect one’s divorce?
First, it is important to understand that equitable distribution essentially means that the split of assets and debt in a divorce will be “fair” as opposed to being split 50/50. Of course, this means that subjectivity becomes an essential part of the divorce case, as both sides attempt to prove their beliefs as to what should be a “fair” distribution of assets and debts.
In high asset divorce cases in particular, equitable distribution can become a highly contentious issue in the case. After all, hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of dollars could be at issue, including valuable assets such as business interests, real estate and even artwork, for example. Convincing a family law judge that one’s view of what is “equitable” or “fair” is correct can have life-long financial implications.
Of course, these high stakes are why many divorcing couples, even those involved in high asset divorces, will attempt to negotiate an agreement out of court. If the divorcing couple can reach an agreement that they believe is fair for both sides, they can then submit that agreement to the court to be approved, as opposed to fighting it out in courtroom litigation. Nonetheless, every divorce case is different, so what works for some Florida residents may not work for others.