Throughout their lives, people in Florida purchase various types of property and assets, put money in bank accounts, and have retirement accounts, vehicles, collectibles and other types of property. They acquire these various assets at different points in time in their lives. While the timing of when they acquired it may not change the ownership on the title to the property or name on the bank account, if it was acquired during a marriage, ownership rights could be affected during a divorce.
When couples go through a divorce, they have to divide the marital assets and property. In order to do this, the couple needs to determine what is considered marital property and what is considered non-marital property.
Property acquired during the marriage is generally considered marital property with some exceptions which will be discussed below. Marital property can also include the following:
- Increase in value of non-marital assets due to enhancements and efforts of the couple during the marriage.
- Increases in the value of a non-marital home during the marriage, assuming marital funds were used to pay down the mortgage
- Gifts given between the couple are considered marital property
- Property titled in both spouses’ names prior to the marriage is generally considered marital
Non-marital property is typically property that was owned by either spouse prior to the marriage, but also includes:
- Property acquired during the marriage using non-marital property for the exchange
- Gifts to one spouse that did not come from the other spouse, inheritances and other gifted property to only one spouse during the marriage
- Income generated by non-marital property during the marriage
- Property that was excluded as marital property under a valid pre-nuptial agreement
Property division in a Florida divorce can be complicated. Determining what will be marital and non-marital can be difficult as oftentimes non-marital property can be intertwined with marital property. Also, simply determining the value of all the property can involve the use of appraisals and other valuations. Then once all the values are determined and non-marital and marital property is defined, the parties can start the equitable division of the property. Experienced attorneys understand this complicated process and could help guide one through it.