A division of property and assets case was recently decided by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned Ortiz v. Ortiz. In this case, the Florida Court of Appeal pointed out that in making a division of property and assets, a trial court is required to begin with the assumption that there will be an equal division of marital assets and liabilities, unless there is a reason for an unequal division based upon the following factors: (a) each spouse’s contribution to their marriage; (b) the parties’ economic circumstances; (c) the length of the marriage; (d) whether there was an interruption of either party’s careers or educational opportunities; (e) whether one spouse contributed to the other spouse’s career or educational opportunities; (f) the desirability of one party retaining particular assets, such as corporations, businesses, and professional practices; (g) each spouse’s contribution to the production of income, the improvement of assets, or the accumulation of debt; (h) the need to retain the marital home as a place in which the children or the other spouse can to live (based upon a determination by the Court that it is fair to do so, is in children’s best interest, and is fiscally feasible; or based upon a finding that it would be fair to provide the other spouse with exclusive use and possession of the home); (i) the intentional dissipation or destruction of marital assets; and (j) any other factor that is necessary to bring about a just result.
In the case at bar, the trial court failed to make the foregoing factual findings, and therefore the Florida Court of Appeal reversed the decision of the trial court and remanded the case back to the lower court with instructions to make these findings.
To learn how courts divide property and assets in Florida, contact a divorce attorney at Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 363-3400.