A marriage certificate and wedding bands

Thinking About Getting Married?

In a relationship, many people have heard the saying “what’s mine, is yours,” but do you know what the state will consider marital and non-marital property once you get married?

The state views finances and assets in a marriage in two categories, marital property and non-marital property, which is also known as separate property. In Florida, marital property is defined as anything acquired during the marriage. Seems simple enough, right? Well, the more assets you have and the more life events that occur during your marriage the more complicated these definitions become.

Marital Property

Assets Acquired During the Marriage

During your marriage, you and your spouse may make purchases that are considered assets. It is important to remember that the purchases made during your marriage are considered marital property, regardless of who signed for or initiated the purchase.

Enhancement in Value of Non-Marital Assets 

If a non-marital asset becomes more valuable or improved during your marriage, then a portion will be viewed as marital property. For example, a couple may remodel the home one spouse owned before their marriage. The state will take the new value, subtract the initial value, and the difference is the value of the marital property. However, it is important to understand that there are different rules for categorizing enhancement to an asset. Enhancements may be due to active labor, marital money investment, or static appreciation, and each of these are handled differently.

Gift Giving in the Marriage

Any gifts given in the marriage are seen as marital property. For example, if your spouse buys you a $40,000 car, in the eyes of the state you each own $20,000 of marital property from the car.

Retirement Benefits

many employers offer a 401k-retirement plan for their employees. But how is this money viewed after you’re married? In general, the money saved during your marriage will be viewed as marital property. However, any money placed in the retirement plan before the marriage will be viewed as non-marital property.

Non-Marital Property

In contrast, non-marital property is comprised of all assets acquired before the marriage, property acquired as a gift, inherited assets, and income derived from non-marital assets such as dividends or interest. Other assets considered marital property can be excluded through a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Liabilities

Liabilities refer to any type of debt that is owed such as mortgages or loans. These liabilities are also classified as either marital or non-marital, depending on who incurred the debt and when it was incurred.

Have More Questions?

Contact our office and get down to brass tacks with Craig Vigodsky about marital and non-marital property!

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