It depends on the situation.
If you owned the home, you kept the home in your name only, and only your funds were used for the home, the home should not be divided in the event of a divorce.
However, if the home is in both names, or marital assets were used to pay the mortgage or make improvements on the home, your spouse could make a claim on the home or the equity in the home during a divorce.
In a divorce in Florida, all marital assets must be divided. Marital assets are assets acquired or purchased during the marriage, using funds that are acquired or earned during the marriage.
If marital funds are used to improve or maintain a premarital asset (such as your home), your spouse may be entitled to a portion of the home in the event of a divorce.
Under Florida law, in order to determine the amount of the home that your spouse may be entitled to, you should look at the current fair market value of the home, whether or not there has been any appreciation in the home, and whether that appreciation is a marital asset under Florida law.
If the appreciation is a marital asset, it must be divided.
Anyone who is considering marriage (or who is already married) and who owns any significant assets in his or her name only should consider a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
A prenuptial agreement is signed before marriage and a postnuptial agreement is signed after marriage.
In both of these agreements, the partners can agree that a spouse is not entitled to any portion of any assets in each other’s names.
If you are considering a divorce and have assets you would like to protect, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He can help.
He works with clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. Call today to learn more or to schedule a consultation.