Marital property includes all assets that were acquired by the parties during their marriage to each other. The asset may be jointly titled, as is often the case with a house. A marital asset may also be individually titled, such as a vehicle as long as the vehicle was acquired during the marriage. Marital assets may bear no title, such as furniture, a television, or appliances. If the item was acquired during the marriage, it is marital property, unless the law specifically exempts it. All marital property should be equitably divided between the parties.
If you own a business, a divorce and property settlement first requires a fair and accurate valuation of the business so it can be equitably divided.
Separate property on the other hand is the property a spouse brought into the marriage, or which is otherwise exempt from the marital estate, such as an inheritance. Problems come when a separate asset is converted to marital property, such as when a spouse uses an inheritance to make a down payment on a joint residence. In this case, the separate property has become commingled with marital assets. However, if you use your inheritance to purchase a car or a house, and title the new asset in your name, then the asset remains your separate property. Separate propert is not divided during a divorce.
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