Published: Mar 31, 2011 6:39 PM EDT
Updated: Mar 31, 2011 3:39 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- Florida's Supreme Court says that an ex-spouse is entitled to a fair share of the increase in value of the couple's home if the other spouse bought the house before the marriage.

The high court ruled on Thursday in a case involving a Hillsborough County couple. The decision unifies a contested point of state family law.

The court's decision applies only to the appreciation in value of a house that a married couple lives in but that only one spouse legally owns. The house itself still belongs to the owning spouse.

The ruling also says the non-owner spouse must have made some contributions to the property during the marriage. Those contributions can be monetary or be other "efforts" as long as they helped increase the home's value.

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