Marital Assets in a Jacksonville Divorce
How does Florida determine marital assets?
Florida law is specific about what is considered to be a marital asset in a divorce. When considering a divorce, it is critical that your Jacksonville family law attorney advises you on what part of your assets will be considered to be marital property.
At Hutchinson Law, the legal team has helped countless men and women who are planning a marriage and need a prenuptial agreement, are married and need a postnuptial agreement, or who are considering a divorce and need to understand what the laws are regarding the property that is owned by the individual. If you are seeking a skilled and knowledgeable family law attorney to assist you and evaluate your situation, it is strongly advised that you contact the firm immediately.
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Under Florida statutes, the property that is considered marital property generally includes the following:
- The assets and liabilities that were acquired during the time of the marriage;
- The contribution to the increase in value of properties due to the efforts or investments of the individuals in the marriage;
- Gifts that are received from one spouse to another during the marriage;
- All benefits, either vested or non-vested, rights and funds accrued during the marriage such as retirement funds, profit sharing, annuities, deferred compensation, insurance plans or insurance programs;
- All the real property that the parties lived in that was acquired either prior or during the marriage is assumed to be a marital asset. If one party claims that the property is their asset alone, they must prove this to be so in court.
The laws in the State of Florida outline what is considered to be marital property; however, this can be a "gray area" in certain circumstances when in court. For example, if you owned the house in which the two of you lived, this will most likely be considered to be "marital property". It also can depend upon the length of time of the marriage and what the activities of the two parties were during the marriage. If children were raised in the home, the property is often now considered to be "marital property".
There are certain assets that are not considered "marital property" and these include the following:
- The assets and liabilities that the parties incurred prior to getting married;
- Assets acquires by the parties separately as gifts from the spouse, or as a bequest or other specific assets acquired separately;
- Income that was gained by the parties through the non-marital assets (unless those assets were relied upon or treated as marital assets by the parties involved);
- Assets and liabilities that were excluded from marital assets and liabilities by a written prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that is considered to be valid, or any assets or liabilities incurred from these non-marital assets during the time of the marriage.
Proving marital and non-marital assets can be a situation in divorce proceedings, and you are strongly advised to have your agreements in writing with a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement in order to attempt to ensure that you do not lose all or a portion of your personal wealth or assets should the marriage end in a divorce. Many individuals have not taken this legal action prior to marriage and have regretted it as they have lost some of their personal wealth or assets, and their heirs have lost family property through lack of a well-drafted prenuptial agreement.
Contact a Jacksonville family law attorney from Hutchinson Law if you are concerned about protecting your assets and personal wealth.