Property Before Marriage
by Laura from Boca Raton, Florida, Palm Beach County
I bought my house 13 years ago.
I have now been married for 3 years and want a divorce.
What is my spouse entitled to?
Answer to Florida Divorce Question
In general, a house which you purchased 10 years prior to your marriage would not be considered marital property.
However, if your husband spent money on the house in upkeep or improvements he may be able to claim some share of ownership or equity.
And if joint funds were spent on upkeep or improvements on the home, that money he spent also may allow him to claim a share of ownership or equity.
Florida provides for equitable distribution
of assets during a divorce. Equitable does not necessarily mean equal, it means fair.
So, if it was your house for ten years prior to ever meeting him and he never paid a dime towards it, the answer is clear. It is your house and your asset after the divorce. However, it seldom happens in the real world that married couples completely separate all of their debts and assets.
The simplest thing may be to negotiate some sort of trade off with him, if, in fact, he contributed substantially to "your" house. For example, you won't ask for half of his 401K if he leaves your house alone. Just a thought.Notice:
We provide these answers
to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.
If you need legal advice, we recommend LagalMatch's free Lawyer Referral Service. Many lawyers offer free initial consultations. Get the legal advice you deserve.Free Family Lawyer Referral
You Are Here → Home › Florida Divorce Questions › Property Before Marriage