In a marriage, couples share more than love and respect for each other – they share property. A deed is a legal document that grants ownership title of a property to one or multiple individuals. What happens if the name of one of the spouses is not on the family’s house deed in Florida? Keep reading to find out.
Marital Property vs. Non-Marital Property – In Detail
If the name of one of the spouses is not on a property deed, it does not necessarily mean he or she is not entitled to a part of the property. Under Florida law, there are two types of property – marital property and non-marital property.
In the event of divorce, Florida courts work to identify which assets in the couple’s estate are marital assets and non-marital assets. While marital assets are divided between the former spouses, non-marital assets remain with the spouse that originally owned them.
When determining which property can be classified as marital or non-marital assets, Florida Statutes §61.075 provides that “the court must begin with the premise that the distribution should be equal, unless there is a justification for an unequal distribution based on all relevant factors, including:
- The contribution to the marriage by each spouse, including contributions to the care and education of the children and services as homemaker
- The economic circumstances of the parties
- The duration of the marriage
- Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party
- The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse
- The desirability of retaining any asset, including an interest in a business, corporation, or professional practice, intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party
- The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of, or the incurring of liabilities to, both the marital assets and the nonmarital assets of the parties
- The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage, or any other party, when it would be equitable to do so, it is in the best interest of the child or that party, and
- It is financially feasible for the parties to maintain the residence until the child is emancipated or until exclusive possession is otherwise terminated by a court of competent jurisdiction
- The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition
- Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties”
What Happens If the Spouse Titled in the Deed Dies in Florida?
Unless both spouses sign a prenuptial or a post-nuptial agreement waiving inheritance rights over the other spouse’s estate upon death, it is not possible to disinherit a spouse under Florida law.
Regardless of whether the name of both spouses are in a Florida deed, several legal mechanisms protect the rights of a surviving spouse on the deceased spouse’s estate. Even if there is no will, Florida intestacy law safeguards the interest of surviving spouses in the decedent’s estate.