When a Florida couple gets divorced, their property is to be divided equitably. An equitable distribution of property is a fair distribution of property, and a fair distribution of property is a distribution which takes into consideration the economic and noneconomic contributions of each spouse to the marriage. All married people, whether they have children or not, contribute to the household that they have created with their spouse. Contributions to a household come in many forms, from economic activities like working to earn income to pay the family’s bills or maintaining health insurance for the family, to activities which are not paid endeavors but which are essential to the functioning of the home and family like caring for children, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, and taking care of household duties while a spouse earns an advanced degree.
In a divorce, it is often useful to consider the economic value of the roles that each spouse has played in the household so that the parties’ marital assets can be divided accordingly. In households where both spouses work outside of the home, their salaries can provide some idea about their contributions to the household, but there is more to it than that. Each spouse also does things around the house in addition to earning income, such as spending time with children, cooking, cleaning, and yard work. These activities are essential to the health and well-being of family members, and to the upkeep and maintenance of the home. By assigning economic values to these noneconomic activities and combining those values with any income that each spouse earns, a clearer picture of the economic value of the contributions of each spouse emerges.In situations where one spouse earns most or all of the income while the other spouse takes care of the lion’s share of the household responsibilities, assigning economic value to all of the things that they do to take care of their family and their home is the best way to compare that contribution to the contribution of the other spouse, which may be primarily economic in nature. By assigning economic value to the activities of homemaker spouses, their contribution to the marriage can be recognized in the property distribution process.
In order to find the value of a homemaker’s noneconomic contribution to their marriage, it is important to make an exhaustive list of all of the things that the homemaker spouse has done to contribute to the household. Each contribution can be given a value, and the values can be added together to get a complete estimate of the worth of those contributions. As an example, Mint.com has estimated the contributions of a full time homemaker at just over ninety six thousand dollars a year. If you are a homemaker or a stay at home parent who is planning to get divorced in Florida, it is essential that you speak with an attorney who understands how to calculate the worth of your contribution to the household.
If you would like to learn more about your legal options regarding your Florida divorce or any other important family law matter, please contact the Law Offices of James S. Cunha, P.A. at (561) 429-3924 or via email at [email protected]. We serve family law clients who are located in Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Wellington, Jupiter, Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Martin County areas.