How Separate Property Can Become Marital Property
- Posted on: Jan 25 2021
Divorce can include many unpleasant surprises. When it comes to the division of property, one such surprise can come in the form of the judge declaring something you thought was your separate, individual property is to be considered a marital asset. This means it will have to be divided between you and your spouse. When this occurs, the separate property is said to have transmuted into marital property. There are a few different ways this can happen.
You Knowingly Change Legal Ownership of the Property
You can intentionally add your spouse as a joint owner on the property, making it a marital asset. This shouldn’t cause any surprises in court, of course, but it is important that you understand it. If you owned your house prior to your marriage and later added your spouse to the deed, you will not automatically receive the home in your divorce. The same goes for vehicles and any other property that you intentionally added your spouse’s name to as a joint owner.
One of the ways separate assets can become marital property without you fully realizing it is through the process of commingling. For example, say you take money from your personal account and deposit it into a joint bank account. By itself, this is not necessarily considered transmuting those funds. However, if you cannot show that the funds came from your previously established account, the court may see the entire account as marital property.
Understanding how separate priority can change into marital property is not always clear. If you use your personal funds to purchase property that is in your name only, it’s typically considered yours. However, there are some instances where that may not be the case. This is why it’s always important to have a legal expert on your side who understands how divorce and asset separation works.
If you’re going through a divorce, the team at the FK Law Group is here to help you navigate through this time in your life. We have years of experience in divorce cases and can help you determine which property is yours and yours alone. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.