When going through a divorce in Florida, one potentially big hurdle is marital property. What is considered marital property? How do you divide it? Matrimonial and Family Law attorney, Cynthia M. Pyfrom, Esq., will walk clients through this process step-by-step to educate the client to hopefully help resolve equitable distribution.
In a Florida divorce, marital property is equitably distributed between the parties. According to Florida Statute §61.075, the following constitutes marital property:
Assets acquired during the marriage.
Any property or asset that was purchased or otherwise acquired during the marriage by one or both spouses is considered marital property. If one partner purchases a Corvette and his name alone is on the title, it’s likely that car will still be considered marital property if it was purchased during the course of the marriage.
Added value or appreciation of non-marital assets.
If a non-marital asset increases in value because of the work of one or both partners during the marriage, or because one or both partners spent marital funds or assets to improve it, the “enhancement”—the difference between the present value and the value on the date of marriage—can be considered marital in nature for purposes of equitable distribution.
In a Florida divorce, the court considers and ultimately distributes marital property between the parties and non-marital property (or assets) remains with the person who owned that property (or asset) prior to the marriage. Although the property division is not guaranteed to be equal (50/50), the Florida family law court is a court of equity and distributes property (or assets) to each partner in a fair manner.
Unlike community property states, Florida adheres to equitable distribution in a dissolution of marriage action. This means that the court starts with an even split of all marital assets and liabilities and then applies various rules and analogies in an effort to make the division of property “fair.”
This can get into exceptionally gray areas. For example, when one spouse owned a business or house before the marriage and values from different time frames are needed. There are some clearly defined guidelines for what is generally considered non-marital property, such as:
– Assets acquired before marriage; or,
– Property acquired from a non-interspousal gift or inheritance.
Obviously, each marital relationship is different, so your situation may produce varying results.
If you are considering a divorce, or currently going through a divorce, educate yourself by contacting Cynthia Pyfrom, P.A. prior to making any definitive decisions. Let Cynthia Pyfrom, Esq. put her passion for family law to work for you.