What is not considered “Matital Property” in a Jacksonville FL Divorce?
Assets accumulated prior to the marriage are generally not considered in the division of marital property. In addition, certain property, including inheritance, gifted to just one spouse during the marriage may also be excluded. Personal injury settlement proceeds are regularly excluded as well. However, a non-marital asset can become a marital asset if it is commingled with marital assets.
A common situation involves the marital home. For example, a husband purchases a $200,000 house prior to his marriage. At the closing he pays $50,000 and finances $150,000. On the date of his marriage, the house is worth $210,000, and he owes $140,000. On the date of separation, the house is worth $250,000 and the balance of the mortgage is $110,000. During the marriage, $70,000 of equity is created through an increate in value plus a reduction of mortgage principal. The wife will be awarded $35,000 of home equity, and the husband will be awarded $105,000 of equity. As a practical matter, the husband will be allowed to keep the house if he can pay the wife $35,000.00. Of course, this example is generalized, and other factors (marital children, alimony, etc.) could cause a different result. However, the Court would use this rudimentary analysis as a starting point.
While property issues can be complicated, a capable lawyer often achieves compromises through creative and persuasive negotiations.
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