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Community Property v. Equitable Distribution

Community Property & Equitable Distribution

Winter Park Divorce Attorney

In the United States, state laws determine the method of property division in divorce proceedings. Divorce laws attempt to make separation of property as fair as possible, but there may be some variation from state to state. Depending on your state's law concerning division of shared assets from a marriage in a divorce, your state can fall under one of two categories: a community property state or an equitable distribution state. In both property arrangements, the assets you had prior to the marriage are typically exempt from being divided.

If you did not file a pre or post-nuptial agreement, the classification of your state will determine who gets what and how much in the event of a divorce.

Equitable Distribution

Most states in America are considered equitable distribution states, meaning that the determination of how property is divided in divorce depends on a number of factors, including such things as:

  • Length of marriage
  • Property value
  • Individual economic situations
  • Job skills
  • Age
  • Health
  • Whether one spouse gave up their job to support children

The judge in equitable distribution cases has a lot of leeway in determining the exact way property will be divided, and the division does not necessary have to be equal. A divorce attorney may be able help to you present effective arguments that can allow you maximize the amount of property you keep in these cases.

Community Property

Community property law is usually more straightforward, but only nine states are community property states. In a community property state, all property is divided 50/50 between the two spouses, though some community property states may also allow for equitable distribution if the judge determines it to be appropriate.

The list of the nine states with such arrangements is as follows:

  • California
  • Nevada
  • Washington
  • Louisiana
  • Idaho
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin
  • New Mexico
  • Arizona

We're Florida Divorce Attorneys

Florida is an equitable property state, so it is important you have an attorney on your side to assist you in trying to retain as much property as possible. At Richard A. Heller, P.A., our Winter Park divorce lawyer has been handling divorce cases since 1990, and we have helped countless Floridians navigate the divorce process. We are focused on pursuing an optimal outcome for our clients though personable but aggressive service.


To learn how our skilled Florida divorce attorneys may be able to help you, please request a free consultation through our online form. Our goal is to be affordable, and we offer payment plans in some cases. Contact us today! Se habla Español


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