A divorce in Florida can be difficult for both parties. Florida recognizes marital property and debts as jointly owned, regardless which name it is titled in. When couples go through a divorce, the property is to be equitably divided, which can be challenging for the parties because there is uncertainty with where things will go at the end of the process.
What is considered marital? While there are some hiccups in determining this, there are some basic rules to understanding the process. First, marital property is property that was purchased since the date of your marriage. If you were married January 1, 2011 and you purchased a home one January 2, 2011, then that home is marital. Marital assets are the same and include your car(s), boat(s), bank accounts, etc. The court does not care in whose name such things were purchased, simply the date of the purchase. Marital debts are the same and can range from student loans to mortgages.
So, what is nonmarital? Basically, if you purchased something prior to the marriage, it’s yours once the marriage is over. Again, the rule is the date of the marriage and what was purchased, signed for or guaranteed prior to the date of marriage is considered nonmarital.
There, are of course, some rules that go against this idea. An engagement ring typically belongs to the purchaser, not the receiver. Also, a home purchased prior to the marriage, but paid for during the marriage (long-term mortgage) or had improvements made during the marriage, may be considered marital and the equity in it may be divided. In order to better understand your situation, it is best to speak with a Florida divorce attorney to walk you through the process.