When you are going through divorce and want to separate assets, there are many things you may have to consider and talk to with your attorney. There may be concepts you are not familiar with, such as appreciation of assets, transmutation of separate property, and commingling separate property. We can help you understand these assets in your time of need to get the best results possible in your divorce.
Understanding Separate Property: Marital property, of course, if everything that you earned or bought when you were still married to your spouse. But what is separate property? This is a type of property that you owned before you were married to your spouse, and is kept “separate.” In most cases, your spouse will not have a right to this property that is yours.
Appreciation of Assets: Sometimes, appreciation may happen when the value of your property increases during the marriage. This can happen in cases, let’s say, where you own a house before your marriage and, over time, its value increases due to the general market. If the increase was not due to the marital contributions, then this is passive appreciation and you would still be entitled to the rights of your home. If the marriage improved the cost, then it is active appreciation and must be split between the two of you.
Transmutation: This is something that occurs when you gift property to your marriage. In California, to transmute premarital property, you must state in a document that you are converting a piece of property from separate to marital property, and it is now becoming a gift. This is something that does not commonly occur.
Commingling: Commingling occurs when your marital money is mixed into separate funds. You must be able to trace the original source of the money or property in these cases to prove that it was separate. These cases most often occur with retirement accounts and are sometimes unavoidable.
As you can see, dividing assets is not always an easy task. It may be difficult for you to figure out which property is marital and which is separate. Call us today to find out more about how we can help you with property division matters.