A marriage is a legal relationship that involves the ownership of assets between the couple. In many cases, couples prefer to hold the title of property together, especially the title of the family’s residence home.
What happens if one spouse wants to leave the other out of a title in Florida? Keep reading to find out.
Marital Property vs. Non-Marital Property – Understanding the Basics
When someone marries another person in Florida, the spouse is not automatically added to the title of a property owned solely in the other spouse’s name. While marriage secures ownership rights over part of the spouse’s property, it cannot change the title documents.
Florida is not a community property state. State law applies the principles of equitable division for couples, classifying assets between marital and non-marital assets. Marital assets are those subject to division if the couple divorces, including:
- Assets acquired during the marriage
- Gifts from one spouse to the other
- Property held under tenancy by the entirety
- Certain retirement benefits
Conversely, non-marital assets are those not subject to division if the couple divorces, such as:
- Assets acquired before the marriage
- Non-interspousal gifts
- Assets inherited by one of the spouses
- Income derived from nonmarital assets
- Property designated with a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement
Is it Possible to Leave My Spouse Off of Title in Florida? – The Verdict
While it is possible to leave a spouse off of a property title in Florida, it will not necessarily exclude that person’s rights in the asset. If you want to disinherit or create legal mechanisms to preclude a spouse from inheriting specific assets, consult with an expert attorney.
In many cases, a spouse may decide to leave the other out of a property title for a specific reason. For example, a real estate investor may not hold the title of investment property with his or her wife.
Florida law has solid legal provisions to protect spousal rights within state jurisdiction. If a spouse dies with assets titled solely in his or her name and the decedent’s will has no provisions listing the surviving spouse, it is not possible to completely disinherit a spouse in Florida.
State law protects a surviving spouse’s right to homestead property, elective shares, and family allowance. If a spouse dies with assets titled solely in his or her name and leaves no will (intestacy), Florida Statutes §732.102 specifies that “the intestate share of the surviving spouse is:
- If there is no surviving descendant of the decedent, the entire intestate estate
- If the decedent is survived by one or more descendants, all of whom are also descendants of the surviving spouse, and the surviving spouse has no other descendant, the entire intestate estate
- If there are one or more surviving descendants of the decedent who are not lineal descendants of the surviving spouse, one-half of the intestate estate
- If there are one or more surviving descendants of the decedent, all of whom are also descendants of the surviving spouse, and the surviving spouse has one or more descendants who are not descendants of the decedent, one-half of the intestate estate”