Florida Divorce Lawsuits, Marital Assets, and Inheritances
What do Miami divorces have to do with probate matters? What does a divorce have to do with inheritances? Should I have a prenuptial agreement drafted by a Miami attorney? Why should I spend the money to get a prenup when I love my future wife and want to be with her forever? What do Miami Beach probate litigators need to know about prenups and inheritances? If you inherit money during your marriage, is it automatically considered a marital asset?
Miami Prenups and Inheritances
Did you know that a prenup can protect your inheritance from your spouse in the case of death or divorce? In a prenup, a person can specify how to divide up the marital property. In addition, it can help to ensure that inheritances and certain accounts are not deemed marital assets during a divorce proceeding.
Marital Assets in Florida
Florida’s equitable distribution statute explains what is to be considered marital assets and what is to be considered nonmarital assets in a Florida divorce. The statute provides the following in part:
(a) 1. “Marital assets and liabilities” 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 efforts of either party during the marriage or from contribution to or expenditure thereon of marital funds or other forms of marital assets, or both.
c. Interspousal gifts during the marriage.
Is a bank account acquired prior to marriage a marital asset? Is a Miami trust fund inherited by one spouse during the marriage a marital asset? Is a vehicle gifted to a spouse by his or her parents during the marriage a marital asset? If you are asking these questions, you should consider reading Florida Statute 61.075 in its entirety.
Street v. Street
Street v. Street, a May 1, 2020 appeal from the Second DCA, is a good example of a Florida divorce battle that could possibly have been avoided if a prenup was in existence. Furthermore, it discusses whether or not a husband’s stock was to be considered a marital asset for purposes of equitable distribution.
Here, a final judgment dissolving marriage, which included equitable distribution of marital assets, was entered. The husband appealed. The husband argued that certain accounts, stocks, vehicles, and a boat slip should not have been deemed marital assets.
In regards to the husbands stock, the husband had acquired it prior to the marriage, there was no evidence of enhancement or commingling, and there was no evidence that they were given to the wife as a gift.
The Florida appellate court cites Doerr v. Doerr, a 2000 Second DCA opinon. The appellate court in Doerr held that the trial court erred in classifying a husband’s stock as marital because the husband inherited the stock during the marriage, the stock grew only by passive appreciation, and the wife did nothing to enhance the value.
If you are involved in a Florida divorce or probate appeal, consider speaking with an experienced Florida lawyer. Pankauski Hauser Lazarus handles civil appeals throughout Florida. To interview an attorney at Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, free of charge, call (561)514-0900 Ext.101.