Marital Property Do's and Don'ts
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Marital Property Do’s and Don’ts

When you’re planning on getting married, both of you have likely talked about how you are going to combine your property. For example, one of you might chooses to give up your condo and have a sale to sell extra kitchen effects or furnishings. But it also might be a good idea to consider how this property could be divided in the event the marriage fails, or commonly consider the basics of handling your marital property.

When spouses divorce, marital property (that in which is obtained throughout the marriage or otherwise shared) gets split in accordance to state marital property law. A couple of states have “community property” regulations, which result in an approximately fifty-fifty division of marital property. However, most states use an “equitable distribution” process in which the assets and needs of each spouse are considered when splitting marital property.

Regardless of the laws in your state and your family’s specific case, the below suggestions are going to help you choose the best way to manage your marital property.

Handling Marital Property: What Should You Do

Do think about entering into a prenup or premarital agreement before getting married, to make obvious which property is not subject to division upon your passing away or should divorce occur.

Do maintain factual and complete paperwork and records to determine the separate type of property you want to keep separate from your marital estate. Property you might wish to keep separate can include property you had prior to the marriage, or gifts or inheritances you received throughout the marriage.

Do continually keep all separate property separate during the marriage when you are troubled about keeping it in your family (or as a personal asset) upon your passing away or should you divorce. Commonly, this means you should not combine property you owned before the marriage with property you both obtained throughout the marriage, or it might become challenging — if next to impossible — to establish legally if it is separate or marital property.

Do be weary that the increase in value of non-marital property might be though of as marital, so each spouse is authorized to a portion of the increased value when divorcing or the passing away of the property owner. This is particularly true when the increase (or “valuation”) in worth is deemed “active” instead of “passive.” Passive valuation is, for example, the increase in value of a financial institution account as an outcome of interest earned, or the increase in property worth that results from traditional inflation. Active valuation, nevertheless, happens as an outcome of some form of effort, like re-painting rental properties or actively handling a stock portfolio.

Do use only your non-marital property to buy other property that you wish to be deemed separate property. Simply put, a jet ski that you pay for with money you had prior to marriage and kept in a separate account following marriage is going to be deemed separate or non-marital property. But when your spouse pays for a portion of it, or even helps in maintaining it, the jet ski could lose representation as non-marital property.

Do retain revenue obtained from any personal injury case throughout marriage separate, should you wish those funds to keep their non-marital property representation. The revenue you receive from a personal injury case is yours on its own, except for any part that renumerates you for your lost income or reimburses your spouse for the loss of your assistance or companionship.

Handling Marital Property: What You Shouldn’t Do

Do not use separate capital for paying off a marital liability, or that capital might lose their non-marital representation.

Do not make deposits of income gained throughout the marriage into non-marital accounts. Income gained throughout marriage is usually deemed marital property, and depositing that income into a non-marital account can result in “commingling,” so that the non-marital account is no longer interpreted as separate property.

Do not open a joint financial institution account with non-marital capital, even when you plan on keeping track of what part is separate. It’s much more sensible to maintain separate accounts if you wish to retain non-marital assets separately.

Do not assume that since you owned property before getting married, no part of it is going to be deemed marital property. For instance, if the home you owned prior to getting married increases in worth throughout the marriage since you and your spouse’s efforts for maintaining and improving it, your spouse might be entitled to a part of that increase in worth.

Do not assume that a business you owned before getting married remains completely a non-marital asset following marriage. If your business or professional practice increases in worth during the marriage because of your spouse’s involvement, your spouse may be entitled to a portion of the increase in worth upon divorce or your passing. In which involvement can be clear – for instance recordkeeping or entertaining clientele — but they can also be more subtle — for instance maintaining the home and taking care of the children so that you can concentrate on keeping the business running.

Get Knowledgeable Help Handling Your Marital Property

Marital property usually doesn’t become a matter unless a married couple is separating, but it could also be a aspect in a prenup or other issues. If you have any legal questions concerning marital property, the best thing to do is to seek knowledgeable legal help. Locate a family law attorney near you and get some peacefulness.


  1. Managing marital property: DO’s and don’ts. Findlaw. (2018, November 14). Retrieved August 8, 2022, from

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