In a Florida divorce case, before the court determines an equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities, the court must first set apart to each spouse his or her nonmarital assets and liabilities.
According to Fla.Stat. 61.075, nonmarital assets and liabilities include:
1. Assets acquired and liabilities incurred by either party prior to the marriage, and assets acquired and liabilities incurred in exchange for such assets and liabilities.
2. Assets acquired separately by either party by noninterspousal gift, or inheritance, and assets acquired in exchange for such assets.
3. All income derived from nonmarital assets during the marriage, unless the income was treated, used, or relied upon by the parties as a marital asset.
4. Assets and liabilities excluded from marital assets and liabilities by a valid written agreement of the parties, and assets acquired and liabilities incurred in exchange for such assets and liabilities;
5. Any liability incurred by forgery or unauthorized signature of one spouse signing the name of the other spouse.
On a cautionary note, it is usually essential to maintain nonmarital accounts separately from marital assets, so that a divorce court will conclude that such assets are, in fact, nonmarital. If there is co-mingling of marital funds with nonmarital funds, the court in a divorce case may rule that all of the funds in such an account are now marital.