Although many states rely upon equitable distribution rules for dividing up property in a divorce, each one also has certain limits that affect the decisions that judges ultimately can make. Even in Florida where such laws are uniform throughout the state, it still may be possible for there to be some degree of variance in how property is split up as the decision is ultimately left up to a judge.
A judge in an equitable distribution state is charged with dividing property between the spouses fairly. To do this, they must consider a number of different factors.
One of the factors that a judge will consider is how long a marriage has lasted. A good rule of thumb is that husbands or wives that have been married to their spouse for the longest time tend to have the best shot at getting a larger stake of the assets. On the flip side of the coin, judges often are deterred from providing one dependent spouse with a large share of the marital property if they've been married for a short amount of time.
In addition to how long that the couple has been married, a judge will also consider whether one spouse has sacrificed their career to be able to stay at home with the kids. If they determine that this is the case, then judges in equitable distribution states have historically tended to be more generous in awarding assets for their benefit.
How much in alimony or child support has been previously offered can also impact how much property is allocated to a recipient spouse. So can the husband and wife's educational background, career field and their overall health.
Parting ways with sentimental pieces of property or dividing up debts can cause rifts between couples to get worse. When couples are unable to reach an agreement about how to handle their assets, they often seek help of a Kissimmee property division attorney and mediator to aid in working things out.