Combining Marital Property With Non-Marital: What Enhances Value in Florida?

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by Whitney R. Lonker, Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A.
wlonker@woodatter.com

Many times I will get a client in a dissolution case in Florida who has owned property or a business prior to getting married. Once you get the emotionalism out of the way in a divorce, the divorce actually becomes one of the biggest business decisions of your life. Normally, in Florida, whatever property one own before the marriage is considered to be non-marital property and should be awarded to the party who owned the property before the marriage. However, having said that, sometimes the courts will consider if the value of the property or business was enhance during the marriage and if so, the courts will award the other spouse an interest in the enhanced value accrued during the marriage. There are still actions that do not enhance non-marital property. For example, paying real property taxes on pre-marital property with marital funds does not enhance its value, converting some of its equity to marital. Just because some marital funds or labor have been contributed to the non-marital property or business during the marriage does not automatically mean that all enhanced value is marital for equitable distribution purposes. Call our firm for answers regarding how to best protect your non-marital property or business today!