The difference between marital and separate property

On behalf of South Tampa Law Group posted in property division on Monday, May 22, 2017.

When people file for divorce in Florida, there are many issues to resolve. Dividing marital property is one of the largest topics to tackle when creating a divorce settlement. It can be difficult to split the property that people have become attached to throughout years of marriage. However, not everything is eligible for division upon termination of a marriage. There are some items that may stay with the original owner once the divorce is finalized.

Separate property is not considered marital and is not eligible for division once a marriage ends. This involves property and/or assets that either party owned prior to the marriage, as well as any gifts given to either party during the marriage. Furthermore, inheritance that was given to either spouse before, during or after the marriage. Separate property can, however, easily become marital if the title of the property is modified to include the other spouse’s name or if the assets are deposited into an account shared by both parties.

Marital property, on the other hand, is more than just the family home, vehicles and furniture. Anything that was acquired during the marriage may be divided during the marriage. This includes the following:

  • Memberships to golf courses, country clubs and other exclusive organizations.
  • Any gifts given to one another during the marriage.
  • Intellectual property, such as patents, copyrights and trademarks.
  • Lottery ticket winnings and income tax refunds.
  • Expensive collections, such as art, antiques, cars, coins, horses and other valuables.

Any assets from 401k plans, term life insurance, stocks and bonds may be divided as well.