During divorce proceedings, one of the most important discussions you will need to have is regarding the splitting up of property. When it comes to property, this is separated into two categories: separate property and marital property. As a divorce realtor, I often see many individuals confused about what constitutes either type of property, so today, I’m going to share with you everything you need to know about separate property vs marital property.
What is Marital Property?
Marital property is a term used in the US to refer to anything acquired during the length of your marriage. This doesn’t include anything that you brought into the relationship or inheritances and gifts given to an individual during the time of marriage. Marital property can include real estate, cars, furniture, artwork, boats, and anything else you acquired together. Even bank accounts and retirement accounts are included in this category.
As a divorce agent, I always recommend anyone who is particularly concerned about marital property to sign a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, which can opt to exclude certain property from what would normally be considered marital property. Which state you live in will determine how marital property is distributed, and divorce real estate experts will be able to answer any questions you may have about the rules in your local area. Nine states are considered to be community property states, where different rules will be applied when dividing up property during a divorce.
What is Separate Property?
Now that you understand what comes under the category of marital property, let’s take a look at separate property vs marital property in a divorce and where this comes into play when selling your home during a divorce. Separate property, which may also be referred to as individual property, belongs to just one of you. It includes anything you acquired before, during, or after your marriage, but the term is mainly used to describe anything that belonged to you before getting married. As well as property and gifts, it will also include any inheritance you received during or before your marriage.
If you entered into your marriage with debt or gained any during your time together, this will be designated as separate property. Most couples opt to add this clause into a prenuptial agreement with the help of a divorce attorney to avoid any issues during this stage. Separate property is so closely intertwined with marital property that it can be incredibly challenging to separate belongings and funds during the divorce proceedings. If joint funds were used to complete a purchase from before your marriage, such as finishing off car payments, this would then be considered marital property.
Understanding the difference between separate property vs martial property in a divorce will ensure you retain the belongings that you own during divorce proceedings. If you have more questions about separate property and marital property, don’t hesitate to contact me today. I understand that going through a divorce can be an incredibly stressful time, but with the right support, you’ll find selling your home and dividing your property to be much less stressful and time-consuming.