When couples get divorced, one of the first things on their mind is: What do I get? Divorce is a stressful situation, so knowing that you’ll get something softens the blow a little. But still, you want to make sure you get your fair share based on what you contributed to the marriage.
Marital property division is complex, especially when the couple has been married for decades and has accumulated numerous assets during that time. Ultimately, marital property is divided in an equitable manner as the court sees fit. However, there is no formula for determining who gets to keep what assets. To be clear, you and your spouse may agree on property division during mediation. If you can’t agree on your own, though, a judge will. You may or may not receive the assets you deserve, which is why it’s a good idea to have a lawyer on your side.
What is Considered Marital Property?
Just about everything acquired during the marriage is subject to split in a divorce. This includes not only cash but also homes, vehicles, boats, furniture, antiques, collections, businesses, stocks, retirement accounts and pensions. This is referred to as marital property.
It doesn’t matter if a certain asset””such as a home, vehicle or 401(k) account””is titled in one person’s name only. If one spouse has a sports car in their name only, the other spouse still has the rights to it in the divorce regardless of titling.
What is Considered Non-Marital Property?
There are some exceptions to the above, though. Not everything acquired during the marriage may be marital property. For example, gifts and inheritances given to one person from a third party are considered separate property. The same goes for pain and suffering payments from a personal injury award. Property that a person bought before the marriage is also considered non-marital property.
It’s important to understand, however, that separate property can easily become marital property if it’s not protected. For example, if you receive an inheritance and put it in your joint checking account, it can now be used by the other spouse. This process is known as commingling.
The same applies to property owned before marriage. If you bought a house before you were married, but your spouse has paid to maintain it, then it is now marital property and subject to split in a divorce.
Contact a Highlands Ranch Divorce Attorney Today for Help
Dividing property can be tricky during a divorce since not all assets are worth what they appear to be once you factor in taxes, fees and other things that can decrease an asset’s value. It’s important that you understand what you’re entitled to receive in a divorce while protecting non-marital assets.
If you are going through a divorce, make sure you get your fair share. The Highlands Ranch divorce attorneys at Divorce Matters can help. We can assess your assets and help you make the right decisions. Schedule a consultation today by contacting us at (720) 408-6595.