Whether you are currently deep within the divorce process or you have just started filing papers, it is critical to have a firm understanding of property division. Although all factors in a divorce are important, property division may be one of the most intense issues. You may have grown attached to certain items during years of marriage, and it can be difficult to separate that property. You may be pleased to know that not all items are eligible for division in the divorce settlement. While marital property is considered divisible and may be distributed in a fair and equitable fashion, separate property may stay with the original owner even after the divorce is finalized.
Separate property includes property and assets that you owned prior to becoming married. For example, if you owned property before getting married and the title of the property remains solely in your name, it may be ineligible for division in the settlement. Similarly, if you received money and kept that money in your name, it may remain in your sole possession. Personal injury compensation, inheritance money and gifts given to you by a third party are also considered separate property.
There are, however, caveats to this rule. If, at any time, you revised the title of the property to include the name of your spouse, the property may be considered marital and then eligible for division in the marriage. Any inheritance money or funds you own that are deposited into a joint-bank account with your spouse may also turn into marital property.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.