In Florida, marital assets are defined as anything that was acquired by either spouse during the marriage, regardless of who acquired the asset or whose name appears on the title of the asset.
All marital assets are subject to equitable distribution should the marriage end. Equitable distribution begins with the premise that any marital assets will be divided 50/50 ; however, a 50/50 split is not always the case. Florida courts fairly (aka equitably) divide the assets and operate under the goal that each spouse should walk away with a fair amount of marital assets.
Generally, non-marital assets are not divided, and they remain the property of the spouse who owned the non-marital asset prior to the marriage.
What is a non-marital asset?
A non-marital asset is any asset acquired by either spouse before the marriage. An asset acquired during the marriage via inheritance or non-interspousal gifts specifically to one spouse is also generally categorized as a non-marital asset.
Income derived from a non-marital asset is also usually considered to be non-marital. For example, if one spouse has an investment property they acquired prior to marriage and that property is rented to a tenant. If the spouse who owns the property keeps the income earned in a separate account, then the rental income would be non-marital.
Identifying what assets are marital and which ones are not can become complicated – especially in a high net worth divorce.
Are separate bank accounts considered marital property in Florida?
In Florida, determining whether the funds in a bank account are marital or non-marital isn’t solely based on whose name appears on the account. Instead, it’s more about the source of the funds.
If both spouses contribute to this ‘separate’ bank account during the marriage or if the contribution comes from marital labor (aka paychecks), it can still be considered marital property.
As with any divorce case, working with an experienced divorce attorney can help keep your interests in sight throughout the entire divorce process.
Are cars considered marital property in Florida?
Cars, like other assets, are subject to the same principles when determining if they are marital or non-marital. If a car is purchased during the marriage using joint funds, it’s typically considered a marital asset. However, if you bought a car before the marriage or used non-marital funds and kept it separate from marital finances, it would be considered a non-marital asset.
Does my spouse have a right to half of my house if I bought it before marriage in Florida?
If you bought the house before your marriage, then generally, the property is seen as a non-marital asset. However, some legal technicalities can come into play, which can create marital equity in a non-marital home. If one of the following conditions occurs, then it can open the door for the property to have a marital equity component:
- If marital funds were used to pay the mortgage or make improvements to the house, then a portion of the house’s value may be considered marital property.
- If both spouses lived in the home and contributed to its upkeep, even if the title is in one spouse’s name, then the court may consider some of its value as marital property.
Divorces can open the door to complex legal matters requiring an experienced divorce attorney to handle.
The Law Offices of Sara J. Singer can help.
Attorney Sara Singer and her legal staff can offer legal services to help keep your goals and interests top of mind throughout a divorce – especially when significant assets are at stake.
Call us at 954-527-2855 or message us online for more information.