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Information on the Appreciation of Nonmarital Assets According to The Florida Bar

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Information on Nonmarital Assets

According to The Florida Bar Journal, marital property is defined as anything acquired in a marriage and can include any assets brought into the marriage. If a spouse wishes to keep certain assets for themselves rather than allowing these assets to become commingled, it is the responsibility of that spouse to prove why these assets should not be transformed into marital property.

In most cases, this includes assets such as cars, boats, residences, or any assets that cannot alternate ownership by the doctrine of commingling. Because money is mutually interchangeable, money must be kept in separate accounts, separately titled, and remain in that manner to preserve nonmarital character.

What Happens with Earnings or Growth on Assets During Marriage?

Any earnings or growth of nonmarital assets are considered nonmarital property unless the other spouse can prove that earnings or growth were actively managed by both parties. However, the spouse must also prove that they spent a substantial amount of time nurturing the growth of such assets. If the spouse can prove this successfully, the assets become marital property. The spouse who has primary ownership of the property can overcome this presumption by proving that the other spouse only included a passive effort.

What is Passive and Active Effort?

Two classifications determine the amount of effort spouses put into the growth of assets. Below are brief descriptions to help you understand the difference between passive and active effort in regards to the growth of assets.

Passive Effort:

  • Passive refers to any incomes or growth that occur with little effort required. This concept is closely related to the idea of unearned income.

Active Effort:

  • Active refers to any incomes or growth that occur when a spouse nurtures and provides substantial amounts of effort into growing an income, earning, or value of an asset.

Because it can be difficult to determine the type of effort exercised by a spouse when dealing with assets, it is wise to involve an experienced marital lawyer to help a couple decide what assets should be considered marital or nonmarital.

Have Questions or Concerns Involving Marital and Nonmarital Assets? Contact Owenby Law, P.A.

When it comes to property division and divorce, many issues can become extremely complicated. At Owenby Law, P.A., our Jacksonville family law attorneys are passionate about helping spouses receive positive outcomes in even the most complex matters. When you choose to work with our team, we will examine every part of your case and formulate effective strategies based on your unique needs.

For your free initial consultation, contact our Jacksonville family lawyers today!