Most people have a certain amount of property that they bring with them into a marriage. It could be a house or a car. It could also be a small business. This property is considered separate property and, provided it has not been commingled with marital property, is not subject to property division. In other words, you are able to take this property with you after your divorce. In addition, inheritances and gifts are also considered separate property.
At The Law Offices of Abbott & Abbott P.C., our attorneys take great care to isolate and protect your separate property. We also strive to prevent your spouse from claiming certain property as separate property when it truly is not. We want to get a positive outcome for you.
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Is It Separate Property?
During a marriage, properties get commingled. One of the most challenging steps involved in a divorce is untangling those properties to determine which ones are marital properties and which are separate properties. This challenging step is made more complex by the issue of appreciation of separate property.
Sometimes, certain property is clearly separate property. If you have a car that you paid off completely prior to marriage, that car is separate property. Sometimes, property is not so easily defined. For example, if you purchased a home prior to getting married, but then you and your spouse made payments on it, a portion of that home is marital property and subject to division. There is also the issue of appreciation of separate property that can make matters even more complex. We know how to sort through everything to protect what is yours.
It is not uncommon for houses, businesses, bank accounts and other assets to increase in value during the course of a marriage. This can make property division even more complex. For example, if one spouse enters into the marriage with a bank account that is worth $200,000, that account is the spouse's separate property. If that spouse then commingles that account with other marital assets, perhaps adding the other spouse's name to the account and allowing that spouse to contribute, it becomes a marital asset.
In these situations, we not only want to separate the original $200,000 of separate property from the marital property, we want to understand how much that money is worth in today's dollars. This is necessary to ensure fair division of property.
The skilled attorneys at The Law Offices of Abbott & Abbott P.C. can assist with the most complex and challenging asset division matters. We take an aggressive approach to protect what is yours.
The Process for Dividing Property
Once separate property and marital property are properly characterized, the marital property is divided based the concept of equitable division. Separate property is not divided.
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For a free 30-minute consultation with our Canton and Marietta separate property attorneys, contact us today. We accept all major credit cards.