Is marital misconduct a factor in equitable distribution?
Florida law provides that marital misconduct is not considered as a factor in division of assets or equitable distribution. However, even though Florida is a no-fault divorce state, it doesn’t mean that you or your spouse won’t have to answer in some way for any marital misconduct during the marriage. One example is if the judge determines that ‘Economic Misconduct’ has occurred in the 2-years prior to filing for divorce.
What is Economic Misconduct?
Economic misconduct occurs when one spouse intentionally uses marital funds for his or her benefit for a reason unconnected to the marriage. If this is the case, the misconduct may be considered by the court and lead to an unequal division of marital assets. The marital misconduct must have occured in the 2 years prior to filing for divorce.
Here are some examples of ‘Economic Misconduct’
- Intentionally dissipates marital assets“intentional dissipation
- Destroys martial assets
- Hides or conceals marital assets
- Wastes or depletes money due to over-spending
- Selling property under fraudulent terms
- Using assets in an affair with another person during the marriage
- Using assets to buy drugs in the case of drug addiction
Normal day to day expenditures, unintentional loss on investments, and other substantial expenditures would not be considered in deciding Economic Misconduct.