Miami Beach, FL asked in Divorce and Family Law for Florida

Q: Paying spouses debts with non-marital money.

My husband bought a house before our marriage. If we buy home appliances and remodel the house using credit cards under the name of both spouses, and then we pay off all debts with the income from the non-marital home, Do all the appliances and updates that we did in the house become marital property? Thank you in advance.

We had about 80 thousand dollars in debts. We both were working and we were using our income to pay the interest from the credit cards.

He bought the house in Oct 2013 for $195,000 and we got married in Jan 2015. By the time we got divorced, the value of the house was $480,000 according to an appraiser. Am I entitled to part of the equity of the house?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Michael David Fluke
Michael David Fluke
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Dunedin, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: This answer is a bit complicated, but worth investigating based on the roughly $285,000.00 in appreciation. Absent a written agreement to the contrary (Prenuptial/Postnuptial Agreement), the improvements made to the home during the marriage are marital. If there was marital effort such a marital labor, that is also marital. To establish your entitlement, you are going to need, at a minimum, a retroactive appraisal to the date of marriage and a second current appraisal. It is not a matter of the expense or amount of money put into the home, it is a matter of how the improvements increased the value of the home. See Florida Statute 61.075(6). Additionally, if there was a mortgage on the home and payments were made from marital sources, the mortgage balance at the date of marriage and date of filing need to be established. I suggest you consult with a local Family Law attorney to discuss this in greater depth. I wish you the best of luck!

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