Advising You On Property Rights

There are several types of property in Florida. At Carol Joyce Solomon, P.A. Attorney at Law, attorney Solomon frequently fields questions about forms of property recognized in the state. If you are considering divorce, it is crucial to understand how your assets, property or debts are categorized. Your property and debt distribution will be greatly affected by this determination.

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Understanding Property Classifications

  • Separate property — Separate property is property owned by a spouse prior to the marriage. Property inherited by one spouse or given to that spouse by a third party may also be separate. Sometimes, separate property can become partially or wholly marital if the other spouse makes a personal contribution to an increase in the value of the separate property or if it is commingled with marital property such that the separate property cannot be traced. Also, if separate money is used to purchase a marital asset, the asset may end up being part separate and part marital or all marital. Additionally, passive and active interest and enhancement, as well as pay down in mortgage principal may alter the status of part or all of an asset from nonmarital to marital. This is a complicated issue and should be discussed with Ms. Solomon if you have any questions in this area.
  • Marital property — Marital property is most property acquired during the marriage. Many times, one spouse thinks that because he or she used his or her paycheck or nonmarital asset to pay for an item, it is his or hers. This is not the case. Money earned during the marriage is marital money. Generally, though there are some exceptions, debts incurred during the marriage are marital even if they are only in one spouse's name. Retirement accounts accumulated during the marriage are marital, including any additions to retirement accounts existing prior to the marriage, though the premarital portion and interest thereon may often be protected as nonmarital. Usually, marital property is evenly divided between the parties, depending on the particular facts of the marriage. However, Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means the court will attempt to do equity, which may require a deviation from a 50-50 division.
  • Part separate and part marital property — Some property may be part separate and part marital. For example, if one spouse uses separate money (i.e., money from prior to the marriage or inherited during the marriage) to purchase a marital asset, that spouse may have commingled the money and lost any nonmarital protection, or a court may find a separate interest in the marital asset equal to the amount of separate money put into it, to possibly include appreciation. Again, this is a complicated issue that should be discussed with our firm's lawyer.

As a skilled negotiator and experienced litigator, Ms. Solomon has a record of success obtaining favorable property distribution terms for her clients. In Florida, it is rare for judges to modify these terms after a divorce has been finalized so it is vital to secure optimal terms during the divorce process.

Take Steps Today To Protect Your Financial Well-Being Tomorrow. Contact The Firm.

Ms. Solomon is eager to assist you with any family law concerns you have. Call 954-255-5333 to reach the Coral Springs office and schedule your no-cost 30-minute consultation. You may also contact Ms. Solomon online.