Am I entitled to appreciation of value of a non-marital asset?
The appreciation in value of a non-marital asset is, under the authority of Florida Statute 61.075 (6)(b), subject to equitable distribution under the condition that the appreciation resulted from marital labor and/or marital funds. In this case, each party is entitled to one-half of the amount of increase in value of the asset. Any regular maintenance expenses which do not lead to an appreciation in value of the asset should not be considered by the court as an enhancement in value; however, the court may consider the maintenance expenses when determining whether or not to order an unequal distribution.
There have been many conflicting court opinions on what portion of the appreciation should be subject to distribution. In general, the court will first establish the percentage of appreciation resulting from marital funds and/or labor. Any further enhancement in value on that percentage will be considered marital. It is the responsibility of the party claiming entitlement to the appreciation to show proof that the enhancement in value is in fact a marital asset. Likewise, the burden to prove that an asset is non-marital lies on the party declaring the property to be non-marital.