Welcome to the ninth episode of Divorce and Your Money Podcast. Your host, Shawn Leamon, MBA and a Certified Divorce Analyst, discusses separate and marital property.
Property is what you own, e.g., money, house, cars, jewelry, and furniture. Separate and marital property are distinctly different, and the laws that govern them vary by state, but a few key points apply to each one.
Separate property is anything that you acquired, owned, or earned before your marriage, which means that what you earned or owned before your marriage will not be divided as long as it stays under your name. It will still belong to you and not be a part of any settlement.
Marital property, however, is property that is acquired, owned, or earned during your marriage. Anything that you and your spouse earned together falls into this category, and these assets will be divided between you and your soon to be ex-spouse. Such property is often subject to disagreements and complications.
Shown below are a few exceptions to what is considered marital property:
- Inheritance acquired during marriage is considered separate unless it is placed in a joint account.
- Gifts are generally considered separate property.
- When both spouses agree to consider certain property as separate.
Financial issues often arise when considering the division of marital property, for example, a house, an investment account, or a car, which is why it is essential to know the difference between separate and marital property.
Key Learning Points
- Property is what you own, e.g., money, house, cars, jewelry, furniture.
- Laws that govern property during divorce vary by state.
- Separate property is property you acquired, owned, or earned before your marriage.
- Marital property is acquired, owned, or earned during your marriage.