Commingling Nonmarital Assets

One or both parties in a divorce case may have come to the marriage with an asset. In many cases, these assets become the property of both parties during the marriage due to the commingling of nonmarital assets with marital assets.

Florida Statutes 61.075 defines marital assets and liabilities as,

a. Assets acquired and liabilities incurred during the marriage, individually by either spouse or jointly by them.

b. The enhancement in value and appreciation of nonmarital assets resulting either from the efforts of either party during the marriage or from the contribution to or expenditure thereon of marital funds or other forms of marital assets, or both.

c. Interspousal gifts during the marriage.

d. All vested and nonvested benefits, rights, and funds accrued during the marriage in retirement, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, deferred compensation, and insurance plans and programs.

This statute further states that any real or personal property held by the parties as tenants by the entireties is presumed to be marital, and the burden of proof is on the party asking for such property to be deemed nonmarital.

In Belmont v. Belmont, 761 So.2d 406, the court held that when the husband sold nonmarital property, and placed the proceeds of that sale into a marital account, then paid marital expenses from that account and purchased an annuity from that account, that the annuity is marital property subject to equitable distribution. The Belmont court held that the funds from the sale of the nonmarital property lost their nonmarital character when they were commingled with marital money.

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