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What is Marital Property?

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married couple arguing about property

When it comes to marriage, there are laws that govern what is and isn’t considered marital property. In short, marital property is any asset or property acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Non-marital property consists of assets that each spouse owned before the marriage or those that were obtained after the divorce filing. In some cases, a couple may experience a “commingling” of assets which can complicate matters further. To better understand the distinction between marital and non-marital property, let’s take a closer look at this issue and what you can do to protect your assets.

What is Marital Property?

Marital property encompasses any asset or item obtained by either spouse during the marriage. This includes:

  • Real estate
  • Wages earned by either party during the marriage
  • Bank accounts
  • Investments such as stocks and bonds
  • Vehicles purchased after getting married
  • Furniture purchased after getting married
  • Pension plans obtained while married.

It should be noted that inherited items are exempt from being classified as marital property so long as they remain separate from other items acquired during the marriage; however, commingling could cause them to become subject to division in a divorce settlement.

Non-Marital Property (Separate Property)

Non-marital, or separate, property consists of assets owned before the marriage or those that were received by either party through inheritance or gift after filing for divorce. Other non-marital items include those acquired with separate funds (such as an inheritance) during the marriage but kept separate from other joint purchases made with shared funds. In some cases, these items may also be subject to division depending on how they were used throughout the course of the marriage (for example, if a gift was used towards household expenses).

What is Commingled Property?

Commingling occurs when two different types of assets—marital and non-marital—are combined into one shared account or investment vehicle. Common examples include joint bank accounts where spouses deposit their earnings into one account (thus making it difficult to tell which portion belonged to whom), stock options purchased with separate funds but held in joint accounts/investments/portfolios, etc. The difficulty with commingled properties is that it becomes challenging to determine who owns what and thus factors into any potential divorce settlements involving these items.

Looking for Divorce Attorneys in Jacksonville, FL?

Unfortunately, there are times when matters regarding marital and non-marital property can become too complicated for the spouses to handle alone. That’s why it’s always best to consult with a qualified divorce attorney who has experience in these types of cases. Our knowledgeable attorneys at Owenby Law, P.A. have the experience necessary to ensure your rights are protected and that you walk away with a fair settlement.

If you’re struggling through the divorce process, call us today at (904) 770-3141 or fill out our form online for a free initial consultation.