Michael N. Bress, Esq. 

One of the most difficult and complex areas of a dissolution of marriage is the division of the parties’ assets and liabilities. There are two types of assets and liabilities in Florida: marital and non-marital. Generally, any asset acquired during the marriage is considered marital and therefore subject to being distributed upon dissolution of a marriage. 

In Florida, statutes and case law provide for an “equitable distribution” of marital assets and liabilities. Equitable distribution starts with the presumption that marital assets and liabilities will be divided equally, however the court may also consider if the distribution between the parties is fair and equitable. Ultimately, equitable distribution is based on a long list of factors that the court is required to consider, such as: 

  • The contribution of each spouse to the marriage;

  • The economic circumstances of each spouse; 

  • The assets and liabilities of each spouse; and

  • The intentional dissipation and destruction of marital assets prior to or following the filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage. 


Adultery or other willful misconduct is generally not punished through the unequal distribution of marital assets, unless a spouse’s willful misconduct contributed to a dissipation of marital assets. 

If the parties can agree to how their assets and liabilities should be divided, the court must approve the agreement upon a finding that the parties’ agreement is reasonable. If the parties cannot agree, the court will determine how to divide the parties’ debts and assets during trial. This process is a complicated one which requires the identification, classification, and division of assets and liabilities. In more complicated cases, it may require the expertise of appraisers and forensic accountants.  

If you need legal assistance in a divorce matter, you can contact Bress Law Firm, PLLC at (954) 336-8049, or by email at Michael@BressLaw.Com. Initial consultations are free and confidential. We are a Family Law Practice located in Aventura, Florida, but serve clients throughout Miami-Dade and Broward. By appointment only. 



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