Sometimes, due to transfers of money and title to property during marriage, the waters of equitable distribution in a Florida divorce can get murky. Such was the situation in the appellate case Landrum v. Landrum, 212 So.3d 486 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017) in which the former husband appealed a finding that his pre-Marital property was marital in nature.
Prior to the parties’ marriage, the former husband owned two parcels of land. One of the parcels was owned by the former husband and his sister while the other was owned by the former husband alone. During the marriage at issue in the case, the parties gave the former husband’s sister money and in exchange, the sister deeded to former husband her full interest in the parcel she owned with him so that he became the sole title owner of both parcels of land.
The trial court determined the parcel formerly owned by the sister and deeded to the former husband was now marital property because it was acquired using marital funds. This was in error, however, as determined by the appellate court because this transaction did not convert the former husband’s premarital one-half interest in the parcel to marital property.
Only the sister’s former one-half share of the property could be deemed marital because only that part was acquired with marital funds. Therefore the former wife was likely only entitled to one-quarter of the value of the parcel as her share of marital property.
Piecing together who owns what share of what property in divorce can be a puzzle that requires knowledge and experience to put together. A Miami divorce lawyer can help you sift through the pieces to determine how to best divide assets and debts, setting aside to you your hard-earned separate property. It all starts with a consultation.