If you have a prenuptial agreement, you probably think that your assets are completely safe. That may not be the case in Florida, though, as a recent case has shown. In the case, one woman argued that her ex-husband’s properties should not be considered to be separate property, even though the prenuptial agreement states that they are.
The court agreed with her reasoning, and there’s a good reason why. She provided evidence that the home had been used for her and the family. The residences were not kept separate while the couple was married. Since that’s the case, the woman argued that her husband had donative intent. He also had other properties that he managed differently, which is what made these two properties the center of debate.
What is donative intent? It’s the legal and conscious desire to give someone a gift. In this case, she argued that the home they lived in was intended to be a gift, since they raised a family there and lived in the property for several years.
The Florida Supreme Court agreed that the woman was correct in asserting that the property was marital property despite the prenuptial agreement. The original trial court came to the same conclusion, but on appeal, the case was reversed. Since the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling, it’s been asserted that the equitable distribution of the two properties in question should be granted. However, another court will need to rehear the case if the Florida Supreme Court does not issue a final ruling itself.
Cases like this can become difficult, which is why it’s a good idea to speak with a legal professional. Someone with solid knowledge of the law can help you understand if your prenuptial agreement is protecting you or invalid in certain instances.
Source: Florida Record, “Florida Supreme Court grants donative intent in divorce case, upholding standard of evidence,” Tricia Erickson, May 09, 2017