Equitable Distribution Questions Raised after High Profile Florida Divorce

One of Florida’s high profile longest-lasting couples have filed for divorce.

After 28 years of marriage, socialite Jodi Dickinson filed for divorce from Bob Dickinson, the retired CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines. The reason stated was “irreconcilable differences”.

The papers also showed that she is asking for alimony. The two have no children together.

What Happens to the Property?

In a “simplified” divorce, a husband and wife will decide on the division of property. In the case of Jodi Dickinson and Bob Dickinson, what is known as “equitable distribution” will likely come into play.

The couple’s 12,000 square-foot mansion is currently for sale for $6.2 million. That and other marital property will be subject to equitable distribution.

What Is Equitable Distribution?

Equitable distribution does not only refer to the distribution of property amongst spouses (or soon-to-be ex-spouses). It also refers to the equitable distribution of debt. This law is currently followed in all but 9 states, and it is used in the state of Florida (Florida Statute Chapter 61).

Equitable distribution is not necessary if a divorcing couple negotiates and agrees to which property or assets will be in their possession after the divorce.

The initial belief is that all marital property will the equally divided between two divorcing spouses. But once the equitable distribution has been finalized, one spouse may be left with more than the other because some items may have been considered to be “non-marital” liabilities and assets.

What Factors Influence an Equitable Distribution Decision

The courts will decide on the division of marital property based on a variety of factors:

  • The earning power and financial condition of a spouse
  • The value of each spouse’s separate non-marital property (this may include retirement plans, a business,stocks, 401(k) plans, etc.)
  • How much each spouse contributed to obtaining marital property
  • How much each spouse contributed to the earning power of the other spouse (i.e. tending to children so the other spouse to attend school)
  • Prenuptial agreements

Why Seek Legal Advice

Those who enter into a divorce without legal counsel or representation do not understand their entitlements and may lose their rights to what should be theirs.

The Anton Legal Group prides itself on providing clients with affordable equitable distribution evaluations and securing fair settlements for spouses and their children.

To speak with one of our expert equitable distribution attorneys, we invite you to call us at (813) 443-5249 today.