Divorce can be frustrating and an emotional situation for all parties involved, but it may be inevitable. During the divorce process, the courts will look at your finances, property and other instances to determine how to give both parties a fair share of the assets. Two terms you need to become familiar with are marital and non-marital property. Here’s what you need to know about marital and non-marital properties and why they are important.
What Is Marital Property?
Marital property is what is acquired during the course of a marriage. Property that was owned before the marriage is separate property. Similar separate items can include third-party gifts that were given individually during the marriage and inheritances.
What Is Non-Marital Property?
Non-marital property is any personal property or real property that was owned by either party before marriage. These properties are considered as separate property during a divorce. Separate properties are not divided evenly among the spouses. Non-marital properties remain the sole property of the spouse who owned the property before marriage.
What Is Marital Property in Florida?
In regards to Florida law, marital property is one that is obtained or a direct result of the labor and investments of both parties during their marriage. Marital property is divided in a manner that is fair for both parties involved.
How Does Marital Property in Florida Differ From Marital Property Law in Other States?
The marital laws in each state are different, including Florida. In Florida, community property laws are not recognized. Factors that are considered in a disproportionate property division include:
- Contributions to the Marriage: This includes improvements of marital or non-marital assets as well as contribution such as being an income-earner or home-maker. Likewise, the Courts will consider whether either spouse interrupted a career or education during the marriage or contributions to the personal career or educational career of the other spouse.
- Dissipation of Assets: The Courts will consider whether a party intentionally depleted an asset, committed waste, or, through conduct such as an extra-marital affair, dissipated assets.
- Earning capacities: The court will consider gaps between the two incomes, earning capabilities and business opportunities that can affect the division of the property. In this instance, alimony can also be considered.
- Physical and health conditions: The courts will consider any health or physical conditions you or your spouse has that could affect the division of the property.
- Age differences: If there is a disparity in you and your spouse’s ages that will affect either person’s ability to work or receive benefits for retirement.
Why Are Marital and Non-Marital Property Important?
A marital and non-marital property status is important because it determines the way in which you can sell or purchase a property when a lender is a part of the equation. There are a variety of financial factors lenders consider before approving or denying a loan application. In other situations, a joint property must be split between the couple, which can cause unnecessary headaches, frustration and significant delays with the divorce process and selling a home.
Here at the Bergman Family Law Firm, I specialize in alimony, child support, prenups and domestic violence. I am located in the greater Miami area, and I am ready to help you weigh your options regarding family law. Contact me today or schedule your free consultation.