Q: I live in florida and my husband and I are separated. I refianced my home and paid him so he could buy another property.
I gave him 20 k he bought a home with non marital funds . Now he wants equity in my home but says i have no rights to the home he bought.
A: This is an issue that can be resolved in court if you file for divorce. Initially you each have an interest in the other's property. You can then each try to prove why you do or do not have an interest. For example, you can show that you refinanced and gave him $20K for the property that you are in. He can present whatever evidence he has about how he paid for his property. When you are ready to file for divorce seek a consultation with a local family law attorney.
A: Any property bought during the marriage with marital funds (i.e., your salary or savings) is a marital asset. You are entitled to his house equity and vice versa. Florida does not have legal separation; hence the marriage is defined in length by the date of marriage until the date of filing the dissolution.
A: It seems to me from the limited amount of information provided, that either you both have an interest in the other's real property or neither of you do. Start with the premise that you are both still married. Therefore both properties are marital and subject to equitable distribution. Now if you can show a court that you refinanced AND your spouse deeded the home over to you, the Court could consider that a gift to you and thereafter deem it non-marital or separate property. Gamesmanship aside, remember that Florida Family Law courts are courts of equity as well as law. Judges do not like people playing games. If it was clear that the intent of the parties was that you buy him out of the home for $20,000.00, that is likely what the court is going to do. Even if the court deems both properties marital, the court can choose to set things right by using unequal distribution or selecting a more appropriate valuation date for such marital property. All of these words are a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo for the court will do what they believe is right. I do suggest you consult an experienced local family law attorney to discuss this in greater depth. Good luck!
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