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MISCONCEPTIONS IN DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGES (Part 1)

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2024 | Divorce |

More often than not, people come into my office with assumptions of what will happen in a dissolution of marriage action. Here are a few:

First, when the parties do not share a bank account, it is assumed these accounts do not have to be disclosed or divided. If the parties do not have a pre-nuptial agreement, all accounts are marital, whether held jointly or not. To preserve a possible non-marital component in these bank accounts, the party would need to produce the statement from the date of their marriage. Any monies earned during the marriage are marital.

Second, monies inherited are marital. If a party inherits money during the marriage and deposits it into a jointly held account, it is now marital as it has been co-mingled with marital funds. However, if the inherited monies are put into an account in the sole name of the party who inherited the money and not co-mingled with the parties’ marital monies, this maintains a non-martial component. This inheritance will be protected from equitable distribution by the Court.

Third, minor children are allowed to testify at 12 years old. However, this cannot be further from the truth. Florida courts do not have a designated age for minor children to testify. In fact, in most cases, the Court often denies minor children’s testimony due to a finding that it is not in the minor children’s best interest to come to Court and testify. Please remember when a child comes to Court, this child will be put in the position to pick one parent over the other. While this may not be the intention of the parent requesting the minor children to testify, it is how most courts view the request and is seldom granted.