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Florida Supreme Court rules on marriage property dispute

The Florida Supreme Court recently issued an opinion on a case involving marriage property dispute. The ruling is awaiting final decision. The court ruled that there was intent of action by the husband in the divorce of a couple that married in 1987 and filed for divorce in 2010.

In the case, the court ruled that the husband intended to give his wife premarital property in a divorce dispute and that he intended to give them as interspousal gifts even though there were prenuptial agreements in place.

The prenuptial agreements on record state that each spouse would keep their premarital property should they divorce. During the course of the divorce proceedings, two properties became the focus of a dispute. The wife argued that her husband had donative intent since the properties were used for residency. The properties did not have the wife's name on either of the titles.

The Florida Supreme Court's ruling was in agreement with that of the trial court, which stated the following in its ruling:

"The properties were and should be considered joint marital assets of the Husband and Wife in equitable distribution by this Court, the way they were considered joint marital assets by the parties as they lived and raised a family in these ‘assets.'"

When the case was at the trial court level, the court argued that the husband had other properties he treated differently than the ones that came into dispute during divorce proceedings. Because of this argument, the court agreed with the wife that the husband had donative intent regarding the two properties in dispute, which meant he intended for them to be divided equally between the two.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court stated, "In this case, we conclude that such evidence existed to support the trial judge's conclusion that both properties at issue were marital assets."

High asset divorce is complicated and stressful. Never go it alone. Contact an experienced divorce attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to discuss your situation today.

Source: Florida Record, "Law groups concerned about high court's departure from case law in ruling of marriage property dispute," Tricia Erickson, April 26, 2017

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