Law

What is the Difference Between Marital Property and Separate Property?

Divorce can affect several factors. Some of these factors might get acknowledged while others may not. Life can change drastically when a couple decides to divorce. Divorce can legally separate both spouses from every aspect. 

However, one aspect that has often confused many couples is the difference between marital and separate property. Most couples filing for divorce do not understand the basic idea behind both terms. 

Every spouse needs to know the difference between marital and separate property as it can directly affect their assets and properties while or after the divorce. You should contact Karp & Iancu, S.C. if you need legal support in the distribution of assets. 

What is marital property? 

Marital property is any property or asset that you and your spouse acquired or earned during the marriage. In some states, marital property is defined as properties acquired when a couple is separated. However, in some states, it is defined as the acquisition before they were divorced. 

Marital property includes the following types of assets until they meet the “when acquired” rule depending on each state: 

  • Bank accounts, stocks, bonds
  • Life insurance policies 
  • Business assets and partnership interests 
  • Vehicles, including watercraft and aircraft
  • Primary homes, vacation homes, and other real property such as investment and business properties 
  • Lottery winnings, given the lottery tickets, were purchased during the marriage irrespective of the winnings being paid after the divorce.

What is separate property? 

Separate property belongs to only one spouse and is not acquired together. While there might be some differences in the state rules, most categories of separate property are universal. Below are the examples of separate properties: 

  • Inheritances or gifts received by one spouse, either before getting married or while being married
  • Type of property that one spouse owned before getting married
  • Properties that have been agreed upon (in a written manner) as separate property by both spouses using a legally valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement 
  • A part of personal injury awards for the compensation of injured spouse’s suffering and pain. 

Difference between marital and separate property: 

Now that you are entirely aware of both terms and their premise, you are more likely to be knowledgeable about the differences. The assets and properties you owned before marriage will always be considered separate. On the other hand, the support you and your spouse owned or acquired together while married is termed marital property. 

The core difference between both terms is the form of ownership. The separate property allows sole ownership, while marital property allows joint ownership. One should consider contacting a lawyer if one needs legal assistance in the distribution of assets through the divorce. 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button