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Am I entitled to property owned in my spouse's name?

The answer to the question posed in the title to this post depends on when the property was acquired. If an asset was acquired during the marriage, it is the marital property of both parties, regardless of which spouse has the ownership title or deed to the property.

In Buttner v. Buttner, 484 So.2d 1265, the court held that two apartment complexes that were purchased by the husband, during the marriage, were marital assets, subject to equitable distribution in the Buttner's divorce case.

The fact that the title to the apartment complexes was in the Husband's name alone was not determinative of the ownership of the property. The appeals court stated that the crucial inquiry is whether the property was legally and beneficially acquired by both OR EITHER party DURING the marriage.

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