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Florida Family Law and Inheritances: do I inherit from my ex?

FAQs Dec 13, 2020
post about Florida Family Law and Inheritances: do I inherit from my ex?

Have you inherited a trust from a Florida estate? If you were you married at the time you received an inheritance in Florida, be careful if you get divorced. This legal commentary will focus on equitable distribution of inheritances. While you are at it, you may wish to consider how family law and estate law overlap.

Family Law and Inheritances

Family Law and Divorce Property

If you are in the process of hiring a Florida law firm to assist you with Miami probate litigation, you may want to look for a law firm that is experienced in both litigation and appeals. In the early stages of litigation, many people fail to consider the possibility of an appeal being filed. However, in the probate world, appeals do occur.

What if you win a trust or divorce lawsuit and the other side decides to appeal? You will want to make sure you have an appellate attorney, who is knowledgeable about the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure and familiar with the Florida appeals courts.

At Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, one of the law partners, Robert Hauser, has been named a Board Certified Specialist by The Florida Bar in Appellate Practice.

Florida Equitable Distribution

If you want to know what is considered to be a marital asset in Florida, you should read Florida’s equitable distribution statute. 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

Street v. Street

Street v. Street, a May 1, 2020 appeal from the Second DCA, is a Florida opinion that discusses whether or not some of husband’s assets were wrongly classified as marital assets for the 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.

The Florida appellate court cites Grieco v. Greico, a 2006 Second DCA opinion. In Grieco, it was explained that ” the trial court will consider numerous factors including title, commingling of marital and nonmarital funds, increases in value because of marital efforts, control of he funds, the length of the marriage, and the parties’ intent concerning the marital or nonmarital status of the funds.”  

Here, one of the items the husband argued should not be classified as a marital asset was a motorcycle. The appellate court determined that the motorcycle should not have been classified as a marital asset subject to equitable distribution during the divorce as the motorcycle was a gift to the husband from the husband’s father.

If you believe that, during your Miami divorce proceeding, an asset was wrongly determined to be a marital asset, you may wish to consult with an experienced appellate attorney. To interview a Miami appellate attorney, free of charge, call (561)514-0900 ext. 101.