Wellington Florida Divorce – Division of Property and Assets

In making a division of property and assets in a divorce proceeding, there must be extraordinary circumstances to award an interim partial distribution. In Defanti v. Russell, the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated: “This is an appeal from the circuit court’s order granting the former wife’s amended sworn motion for summary judgment, which sought an interim partial distribution of marital assets in a dissolution of marriage case. The former husband’s estate argues that the former wife was not entitled to the interim partial distribution because she did not show the statutorily-required good cause. We agree with the estate and reverse.

The good cause requirement for an interim partial distribution arises from section 61.075(5), Florida Statutes (2012). Section 61.075(5), in pertinent part, states: If the court finds good cause that there should be an interim partial distribution during the pendency of a dissolution action, the court may enter an interim order that shall identify and value the marital and nonmarital assets and liabilities made the subject of the sworn motion, set apart those nonmarital assets and liabilities, and provide for a partial distribution of those marital assets and liabilities…..(a) Such an interim order shall be entered only upon good cause shown and upon sworn motion establishing specific factual basis for the motion. The motion may be filed by either party and shall demonstrate good cause why the matter should not be deferred until the final hearing…(d) As used in this subsection, the term “good cause” means extraordinary circumstances that require an interim partial distribution. Section 61.075(5), Fla. Stat. (2012) (emphasis added)….We conclude that the former wife did not show without genuine issue of material fact that extraordinary circumstances required an interim partial distribution of her one-half share of the liquid assets. See id. (“Summary judgment is proper if there is no genuine issue of material fact and if the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.”). As the husband’s memorandum in opposition argued, the former wife’s motion offered no showing of good cause, that is, extraordinary circumstances which required the interim partial distribution. Thus, the circuit court should have denied the former wife’s motion pending trial, at which time the court could have included the former wife’s one-half share as part of its determination of whether to impose an equal or unequal distribution of the parties’ marital assets and liabilities pursuant to section 61.075(1), Florida Statutes (2012).”

To speak with a Wellington Florida divorce attorney, contact Matthew Lane and Associates, P.A. at (561) 328-1111