Marital Property v. Separate Property

The boundary between marital assets and separate property can sometimes be blurred, further complicating a divorce, according to an article in Kiplinger. The longer you’ve been married, and the more money you have, the more likely you will need to do your due diligence to protect your assets.

“Marital property” is anything that is earned or acquired during a marriage. Typically, this includes salaries, bonuses, retirement contributions, homes, cars, and businesses. Depending upon the state, marital property can be either divided equally (as in 50/50) or equitably.

“Separate property” describes the assets owned or acquired before a marriage. In addition to money and property, this may include an inheritance, gift or personal injury award. In some cases, assets can be protected via a prenuptial agreement.

It gets complicated, however, when marital and separate property become comingled, such as when a couple uses joint assets to pay off a home purchased before a marriage, or a birthday check made out to one partner by his or her parents is then contributed to funds that purchase a joint asset. Even bank accounts that were separate before a marriage but later combined can be an issue.

The best course of action in protecting your assets during a divorce is to talk to an attorney experienced in family law and divorce in Pennsylvania. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.