The general rule in a Florida divorce is that any property obtained by either spouse during the marriage is considered marital property; however, there are exceptions to that rule. An experienced Boca Raton divorce attorney like those at the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg can help identify assets that you are entitled to keep as separate property in your divorce as well as assist with any other issues that arise during your divorce proceeding. To learn more about the wide range of services offered to our clients in the Boca Raton area, call or contact our office today.
Gifts Made to a Single Spouse
According to the equitable distribution rules of Florida divorce, any property acquired by a spouse prior to the marriage is considered separate property, while anything acquired during the marriage is considered marital property and subject to division. However, if one spouse is given a gift during the marriage it can be considered a separate property item, so long as it was a gift from a source outside of the marriage. This is because gifts made between the spouses during the marriage are considered marital property.
In order to keep a gift as separate property, it must not be commingled with marital property. If the gift is an item like jewelry or a collectible this can be fairly easy, but if the gift is cash or securities that can be intermingled with marital assets it could convert from separate to marital funds.
A similar rule applies when one spouse is given an inheritance during the course of the marriage. Generally, an inheritance to a single spouse is considered separate property so long as the inheritance is kept apart from marital property. For example, if an inheritance includes real estate, marital funds should not be used to maintain or pay for the property. Similarly, if the inheritance includes cash, stocks, or other securities they should be kept in a separate account from marital funds in order to maintain the inheritance as separate property.
The final unique item that is often a source of contention in Florida divorce cases is the family pet. Although we treat them like members of the family, the courts still treat them like items of personal property. If a spouse brought a pet into the marriage it is considered their separate property, even if the other spouse was the pet’s primary caretaker during the course of the marriage. Pets acquired during the course of the marriage are considered marital property, and the couple must determine who gets the pet in property negotiations.
Call or Contact Our Office Now
Have you received a gift or inheritance during your marriage? Do you have questions about what will be determined as separate or marital property in your Boca Raton divorce? If so, the knowledgeable and experienced Florida divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg are here to help. Call or contact the office today to schedule a consultation of your case now.