A common misconception in a Miami divorce is that title to an asset or debt controls who owns property or owes a liability. The fact is title does not change the marital nature of the asset or debt if it was acquired during the marriage.
Marital assets and debts (which are generally equally divided between spouses with some exceptions) according to section 61.075 of the Florida Statutes include:
a. Assets acquired and liabilities incurred during the marriage, individually by either spouse or jointly by them.
b. The enhancement in value and appreciation of nonmarital assets resulting either from the efforts of either party during the marriage or from the contribution to or expenditure thereon of marital funds or other forms of marital assets, or both.
c. Interspousal gifts during the marriage.
d. All vested and nonvested benefits, rights, and funds accrued during the marriage in retirement, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, deferred compensation, and insurance plans and programs.
Some are surprised to find out that student loan debt taken out during the marriage, and even Christmas and birthday gifts given by a spouse fall into the category of marital assets and debts subject to division between spouses. Without a prenuptial agreement, the saying “What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is yours” is so true in a Florida divorce.
Assets titled jointly or as tenants by the entireties that were purchased before or after the marriage are presumed marital in nature. A spouse wanting to show otherwise has the burden of proving the asset is non-marital by clear and convincing evidence.
Contact Streets Law for a consultation with a Miami divorce attorney to develop a plan that will help you navigate equitable distribution.