Asset Characterization Issues in Florida Divorce
Before you divide marital property in a divorce, you need to know what assets are part of the marital estate. Sometimes the key property division issues involve disputes over what does and doesn’t constitute marital property. Divorce lawyers use the term asset characterization for questions as to whether particular property is part of the marital estate and therefore subject to division, or instead is the separate property of one spouse or the other. Assets characterized as separate property are not included in the marital estate and are not subject to division. At Barbra Amron Weisberg, P.A. we have experience with asset characterization problems concerning real estate, professional practices, property acquired before marriage, investment accounts and pre-nuptial agreements. Contact us in Boca Raton to learn how our familiarity with these issues can benefit you.
Advice About Marital or Separate Asset Characterization
Generally, property acquired by each spouse prior to marriage or later by inheritance will be regarded as separate property, while property acquired during the marriage by either spouse will be marital property. Note, however, that Florida law treats gifts between spouses during the marriage as marital property.
The conduct or agreement of the spouses can change the character of separate property to marital property, and the other way around. For example, if one spouse owned a house prior to marriage and subsequently transferred title into both names, a separate asset would generally be converted into a marital asset. Transferring the cash proceeds of an inheritance into a joint bank account could jeopardize the separate character of that asset through commingling.
Hard characterization questions can arise regarding the treatment of a separate asset’s appreciation in value during the marriage. If the appreciation simply resulted from inflation or market forces, it’s probably separate property. If the effort of either spouse during marriage contributed to the appreciation in value the increase over the original value will likely be treated as a marital asset.
Contact our Florida asset characterization attorney today
The Boca Raton attorneys at Barbra Amron Weisberg, P.A. know what facts will bear most heavily on asset characterization questions in your situation, and know how to present your position to its maximum advantage. Contact us to learn more about your legal options in complex property division cases.