What is considered separate property?

One of the major questions divorcing Florida residents may face is what constitutes property that they share under law. Much of their property and assets will be considered martial property and will likely be divided up in a divorce proceeding. However, some property may still be considered the separate property of each party, as the Huffington Post describes in this article.

Separate and martial property is a concept that is not always cut and dry. Sometimes which kind of property can be defined as separate differs according to state. However, we can generally consider several forms of property to be separate. First, this can include any piece of property that either spouse owned before the marriage. Separate property can also consist of an inheritance either the wife or the husband receives prior to or after the marriage. Additionally, gifts either of the spouses receive from a third party, such as a relative, qualify as separate property. Finally, if a spouse receives payment from a pain and suffering case, that money is also considered separate property.

However, some separate property may end up converted to martial property under certain circumstances. For example, just about every property acquired during marriage, including financial accounts that are created, qualify as marital property. Thus, if a husband places a personal inheritance in a bank account under his and his spouse’s name, the money may likely become martial property since the husband co-mingled his separate property with martial property. Additionally, a spouse that owns property can turn it into martial property if the other spouse is signed on as a co-owner.

The misunderstandings over what may be considered separate property can sometimes lead a divorcing party to miss out. A person may believe a bank account that is only under the other spouse’s name is off limits to that person. However, almost all property gained during marriage is considered to be martial property even if just one spouse owns the property. Such questions are frequently addressed by divorce attorneys.

This article is intended to educate on the topic of separate and martial property and is not to be taken as legal advice.

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