Equitable Distribution

equitable-distribution-hlg-1In a divorce, the assets and debt of the parties needs to be divided up. The division is called equitable distribution. The assets have to be determined whether they are marital or non-marital.

“Marital assets and liabilities” include:

  • Assets acquired and liabilities incurred during the marriage
  • The enhancement of nonmarital assets resulting either from the efforts of either party during the marriage
  • Interspousal gifts during the marriage
  • Retirement, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, deferred compensation, and insurance plans and programs accrued during the marriage
  • All real property held by the parties as tenants by the entireties
  • All personal property titled jointly by the parties as tenants by the entireties

“Nonmarital assets and liabilities” include:

  • Assets acquired and liabilities incurred by either party prior to the marriage, and assets acquired and liabilities incurred in exchange for such assets and liabilities;
  • Assets acquired separately by either party by noninterspousal gift, bequest, devise, or descent, and assets acquired in exchange for such assets;
  • All income derived from nonmarital assets during the marriage unless the income was treated, used, or relied upon by the parties as a marital asset;
  • Assets and liabilities excluded from marital assets and liabilities by valid written agreement of the parties, and assets acquired and liabilities incurred in exchange for such assets and liabilities; and
  • Any liability incurred by forgery

Another important and sometimes confusing concept is the cut-off date for marital/non-marital and the date of valuation for each asset and liability.

The cut-off date for determining assets and liabilities to be identified or classified as marital assets and liabilities is:

  • The earliest of the date the husband and wife entered into a valid separation agreement,
  • such other date as may be expressly established by such agreement, or
  • the date of the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage.

In contrast the date to use to value the asset is one that is just and equitable by the judge. Often the date of filing is used, but sometimes it’s date of separation or the date of trial or the signing of a mediation or marital settlement agreement. An attorney at Hughes Law Group is your best resource in helping to explain this complex area of the law.

Attorney Hughes, an equitable distribution attorney at Hughes Law Group in Tampa and New Port Richey, will discuss with you the facts of your case and help decipher how your assets and liabilities would be treated. Contact Hughes Law Group if you have questions regarding the assets and liabilities of your marriage.