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Highest Florida court gives final ruling on marital property

One Florida couple in the midst of the asset division portion of their divorce took their disagreement all the way to the Florida Supreme Court. The couple had been married for nearly 30 years before making the decision to get a divorce. The process of their asset division was complicated by their signing of prenuptial agreements prior to their marriage in 1987. One spouse alleges that separate property in that agreement was marital property due to the spouse's using the assets for residence.

Since the husband's name was the only one listed on two properties the couple used for residence, he alleged that they were separate property. The wife, on the other hand, argued that the properties actually qualified as marital property since the husband practiced donative intent. The trial court found the woman to be correct, while the appeals court sided with the husband in the property division dispute.

The decision was appealed a final time to the Florida Supreme Court where they made the final decision. There is no higher court to appeal to, as family law decisions are a state-mandated issues. The higher Florida court decided in favor of the original trial court decision that the properties are, in fact, marital property. They came to this decision as the woman demonstrated that the husband did have donative intent, as they utilized the properties together as residences.

Property division can be a complicated issue and can involve many complexities at the court level. Often, it takes a well-executed strategy to protect a divorcing spouse's interests.

Source:, "Florida Supreme Court determines properties in divorce dispute had interspousal gift intent," Tricia Erickson, April 19, 2017

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