What Is and What Is Not a Joint Asset?

  • Posted on: Jun 23 2020
  • By:

If you’re in the middle of a divorce or are considering one, it’s vital to understand what the term “joint asset” means and what falls into that category. When you file for divorce, you and your spouse will need to make a very detailed list of all of your assets. You’ll need to separate them into assets you owned before you were married and assets the two of you acquired together during your marriage. The second category are joint assets.

What Counts as Individual Property?

It’s likely that you already had some assets prior to your marriage. If you own your home or have a vehicle, for example, those are separate assets. Other individual property includes any inheritance you received and any payment you were awarded from a personal injury case. If you received a gift from a third party, that’s also separate property. You do have to be careful, however, that you don’t allow your individual property to comingle with your marriage assets. If you do, it may become a joint asset. For example, if you create a joint bank account and transfer some of your inheritance into it, that money becomes a joint asset.

Some “Individual” Assets May Not Be Separate

There is often some confusion about certain accounts and other assets that you acquire during your marriage. For example, if you have a 401K retirement plan, even though it’s only in your name, it’s still a joint asset. All property acquired while you’re married is a joint asset with a few very limited exceptions. If you receive an inheritance, for example, it is generally considered an individual asset as long as it isn’t comingled with joint assets regardless of whether or not you were married when you received it.

Other joint assets that you may not realize are considered as such include stock options, IRAs, deferred compensation, life insurance, bonuses, bank accounts, real estate, antiques, tax refunds, vehicles, bonds, and much more. State law does vary, so you will definitely need to work with a divorce lawyer who understands how New York law views assets.

The team at the FK Law Group is here to help you understand what will be divided in your divorce and what is yours. Contact us today to start preparing your case.

Posted in: Divorce Law, Uncategorized