Equitable distribution of marital assets comes in many forms. One such form is the enhanced equity that one party obtains when his non-marital mortgage is paid down during the course of the marriage with marital funds. Support for this proposition is found under Florida Statute 61.075(6)(a)(1)(b).
In the case of Somasca v Somasca, 171 So3rd 780 (Florida 2nd DCA 2015), the former husband owned commercial real property encumbered by a mortgage. A substantial portion of the mortgage was paid down during the marriage by utilizing marital funds obtained when the wife refinanced the marital residence. The wife was claiming 50% of the amount of the mortgage reduction as a marital asset and as a portion of her equitable distribution.
The husband responded by claiming that his separate property depreciated substantially in value during the marriage, which essentially “washed out” or canceled any claims that the wife was making in reference to a pay down of his non marital mortgage.
The appellate court was quick to note that the wife’s position was correct and the husband’s position was not supported by law. It’s irrelevant whether or not the husband’s non marital real property appreciates in value. The husband still acquires an enhanced amount of equity in his non marital property when his mortgage balance is being reduced.
The clear analysis of this concept is set forth in the Somasca case cited above.
When seeking a divorce, it is important to retain the services of a Boca Raton divorce attorney who has many years of experience in identifying and valuing marital assets, no matter what form they come in. Alan R. Burton is an attorney with over 40 years of experience who is well qualified to represent you at every step of the way in your divorce case. Call him today at 954-295-9222.
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