MIAMI, Florida. Florida is an equitable distribution of property state under Florida law. What this means for you if you are getting divorced is that your property may not be divided 50/50 should you get divorced. The courts will consider many factors, including the contributions of each partner to the marital estate, the role each partner played in the marriage, the length of the marriage, the health of both parties, and a range of other factors when deciding what kind of division of property is fair. One way that individuals can protect their property and business is by having a prenuptial agreement in place before getting married. These agreements can clarify who owns what and who will get what should the marriage end. Of course, these agreements must be written in a manner that is fair to both parties and must be entered into in a manner that will be acceptable to Florida courts. You can’t just write a contract saying that you’ll get everything in a divorce and expect a judge to accept it., can assist you with either writing a prenuptial agreement before you get married or assist you in interpreting your prenuptial agreement to assist you with your division of property and assets.

There are two types of property that must be considered in a divorce: marital property and separate property. Any property like real estate, cars, boats, or land you and your partner purchased during the marriage will be considered marital property. Shared cash, investments, and other bank accounts will also be considered marital property. Separate property includes any land, real estate, cars, boats, or investments you owned before you got married. Inheritance may also be included as separate property whether or not you received it before or after the marriage. However, the lines between separate property and community property can sometimes blur. For example, if you helped pay for improvements in your spouse’s separate property or if you put inheritance money into a shared bank account, the courts may come to view this property as marital property. Another situation would be where a partner performed repairs on a house you owned prior to the marriage. Your spouse might be entitled to receive compensation for the increased value of improvements. However, even if some property is only in your former partner’s name, you may still be entitled to the equitable distribution of it. According to Forbes, a 401K in your husband’s name that increased in value during the marriage may be subject to equitable distribution during your divorce.

There are many ways that separate property can be inadvertently comingled in a marriage and there are many strategies individuals can use to protect their separate property when entering into a marriage. One of the ways that you can protect yourself from blurring these lines is by having a prenuptial agreement in place that makes very clear who owns what should the marriage dissolve. If you have questions about interpreting your prenuptial agreement or drafting a sound prenuptial agreement before marriage, reach out to the today.

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