Separating property: Here’s what you should consider

One of the most important things to do during your divorce is to show which of your assets are marital and which are separate. Initially, you should sit down and list out all of your property and debts. Once you have a list of your assets, take a look and see which you believe are separate or shared. For example, if you received an inheritance that you’ve kept in a separate bank account, then that inheritance should be separate property. If you purchased a vehicle before your marriage, then that should be yours.

Any property that was received or acquired while you were married is presumed to be shared and part of the marital estate. You will need to provide supporting evidence if you believe that an asset you received during that time shouldn’t be part of the marital estate.

How can you decide which property is marital or separate?

Other than looking at when you received the property, something else to consider is the kind of property it is. Things like settlements for personal injuries or inheritances may not be marital property no matter when you receive them. Your attorney can go over the exceptions with you if you are concerned about them.

Should I give my spouse more property to avoid spousal support?

Giving your spouse a larger portion of the marital assets may help you avoid paying spousal support if you would otherwise owe it. You may want to speak with your attorney about how much support you’d be expected to pay and how you could offset that by giving your spouse a different percentage of the marital property you share.