Determining whether an asset is actually a marital asset is sometimes a complicated matter — just ask a Florida couple who spent seven years arguing in court over several real estate properties. In the case of the couple, they had even taken precautions to avoid such disputes and created a prenuptial agreement when they married some 30 years ago.
While the prenuptial agreement surely streamlined some of the process, there was still debate about whether two real estate properties should be divided equally. Over the course of seven years, the matter wound its way from their local trial court up to the 4th District Court of Appeals, before finally ending up before the Florida Supreme Court.
The Florida Supreme Court reasserted the position of the lower court, overturning the ruling of the appellate court to find that the trial court used proper grounds to determine that the properties were intended as interspousal gifts, even though the titles did not list the wife on them.
Ultimately, the court found that the properties did count as marital property because they were used as residences and were treated differently than other assets that were not used in such a personal way.
Whatever your assets may be, divorce can go from simple to painfully complex at the turn of a dime. Even if you have a prenuptial agreement, your court may not see some of your assets the way that you see them. It is always wise to protect your rights and your future with the guidance of an experienced attorney who understands the nuances of Florida law.
Source: Florida Record, "Florida Supreme Court determines properties in divorce dispute had interspousal gift intent," Tricia Erickson, April 19, 2017