When people think of equitable distribution in a divorce, they may associate it with a fairly simple and straightforward process in which each spouse gets 50% of the marital assets. Of course, achieving this outcome can involve some technical matters, such as determining values of assets and deciding what is or is not a marital asset. Then there are other potential complexities such as dividing a property where the value was (or is) less than the balance of the outstanding mortgages. Achieving an equitable distribution that fairly protects your interests, then, involves a detailed understanding of the law in Florida, which is why it pays to have representation from a knowledgeable Miami family law attorney.
The divorce of A.M. and K.M. was a case with an equitable distribution dispute. The couple married in the fall of 2011. Prior to the marriage, the wife had purchased a home that was worth $126,000 on the couple’s wedding day. The home had two mortgages on it. The first mortgage alone had a balance of $166,000. During the marriage, the couple lived in that home. They used marital assets to make payments on the first mortgage, but they paid nothing on the second mortgage. The husband also made renovations to the home during the marriage.
Three and a one-half years after the couple married, the wife filed for divorce. During that litigation process, the home was assigned a market value of $170,000. The first mortgage had a balance of $143,000 and the second mortgage had a balance of $57,000.