Non-marital property claims have been increasing in Boynton Beach and West Palm Beach. Ever since the Court decided Kaaa v. Kaaa, and changed the way non-marital property value increases are treated in Florida divorce. The Kaaa Court declared the passive appreciation (increased value) of a non-marital home is a marital asset subject to equitable distribution when marital funds paid down the mortgage during the marriage, these claims for non-marital property have been increasingly through Florida.
Non-marital property in Florida is defined by Florida law as:
1. Assets acquired and liabilities incurred by either party prior to the marriage, and assets acquired and liabilities incurred in exchange for such assets and liabilities;
2. Assets acquired separately by either party by noninterspousal gift, bequest, devise, or descent, and assets acquired in exchange for such assets;
3. All income derived from nonmarital assets during the marriage unless the income was treated, used, or relied upon by the parties as a marital asset;
4. Assets and liabilities excluded from marital assets and liabilities by valid written agreement of the parties, and assets acquired and liabilities incurred in exchange for such assets and liabilities; and
5. Any liability incurred by forgery or unauthorized signature of one spouse signing the name of the other spouse.
Non-Marital Property and Increased Value
Just recently the 5th District Court of Appeal decided that the increased value of the husband's non-marital website domain was a marital asset. The domain name had been registered by the Husband and he had begun website development before the marriage, so the domain was his non-marital asset.
However, during the marriage it was the Husband's efforts that enhanced the value of his website business. The business grew and the family derived the majority of its income from the site. Because the Husband's "marital effort" resulted in more value to his asset, the Wife gets a share of the value increase of the HUsband's non-marital property - the website domain.
Non-Marital Property Valuation
The way the increased value would generally be the value at the filing date less the value on the date of the marriage. If you disagree on those numbers, it will be your responsibility to prove your value number at court. This may require expert testimony. Sometimes you can find public records to support your value - like the Property Appriaser and Tax Collector websites.
If you have any question about how to prove your case, it it best to represented by an attorney. You should at least consult with an experienced attorney if you have any questions about your dissolution of marriage case. ~Because an Ounce of Prevention Really IS Worth it.