Domestic Partnership Agreements: Separate and Joint Property

This third installment of a 7-part series about Domestic Partnership Agreements discusses separate and joint property.

Separately-Acquired and Jointly-Acquired Property

Domestic partnership agreements should list or include an attached schedule of each party’s separate property. If the parties agree, the agreement should protect ownership of property and interests in trusts as separate property. Such agreements typically say how income from separate property will be treated while the couple remains together – will the income also be separate property…or joint?

Enhancement in Value of Real and Personal Property Brought into the Relationship

Couples may agree, as many do, to allocate any growth in value during their relationship, regardless of the reason for the growth, to the partner who brings the asset into the relationship.

Others, however, may take guidance from Florida family law about enhancement in value of premarital real property or premarital accounts.

This free real property calculator may help domestic partners provide for allocating growth in real property, like a home, during their relationship if it ends.

For assets other than real property, such as accounts a partner has going into the relationship, this calculator may help generate ideas on fairly allocating growth.

Generosity With Separate Property

Agreements between domestic partners define separately-acquired property. But that doesn’t mean, if either party chooses to share separate assets, trusts, or work during the relationship, the other party can’t benefit. The party may choose how to save or spend such funds. The agreement may allow each party to be generous.  Either party may make gifts to the other, to each party’s children, or to others.

Jointly Acquired Property

Sometimes a party purchases property and titles it in joint names with a partner. When that happens, Florida law ordinarily presumes the party intends to give the other half the value of the property. If either party gives the other funds or property, the agreement typically would provide such gifts would become the recipient’s separate property.

Estate Planning

Each domestic partner retains freedom to do estate planning.  Each person may choose to have a will and trusts.  The person may provide upon death for the partner, children, or anyone else. Occasionally, to reassure and provide security for a partner with less means, one partner may commit to making irrevocable estate planning designations or bequests for the other partner.  

Related Blog Posts

Read more about Florida Domestic Partnership Agreements: 

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