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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33075
Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including family law.
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I am in the process of getting a divorce after 7 years of

Customer Question

I am in the process of getting a divorce after 7 years of marriage. Previous to our marriage we lived together and shared a checking account. Our incomes were greatly different (my 100k salary vs hers 20/30k). I acquired a number of items while I was single
- an entertainment unit, mountain bike, drill and circular saw, used car (whose title is in my name). My question is, my wife believes these should be part of an even distribution, while I believe as pre-marital. I do not have receipts indicating such, but
she is not contesting that they aren't - just that as they were bought from the joint account, so she should be entitled to half.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry for this dilemma. The law in this area is clear; any property you acquired prior to the marriage is considered separate property. So any property you acquire prior to the marriage would be yours to take if the marriage dissolved.

That said, let's back up a bit...

a divorce can either be contested or not contested.

Uncontested; Now the fastest, (and by far the least expensive) way to get a divorce is if you can agree on the terms. If you can agree on "who gets what" there is not a need for attorneys...this will cut the costs to a very small amount (court fees)

Contested; if you can not agree, this is a contested divorce. To proceed you need an attorney or need to act as your own attorney (very bad idea). Here the parties present evidence to the court on "who gets what" and the court decides. This takes longer and involves attorney fees for both sides.

SO, if you can agree with your "soon to be ex" on who gets what, great! If not, you need an attorney.

So frankly speaking, it may be better to give up some of the separate property then to have to pay for an attorney to fight to keep the property.

But to answer your question; are you entitled to the property you brought to the marriage? The answer is yes.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** makes sense. This is contested, and I do have a lawyer, unfortunately she's on vacation right now and we're trying to keep the lawyers out of the division of assets and save a few bucks. In regards ***** ***** though, who defines who gets what when we had a joint checking account? I mean in regards ***** ***** mountain bike I was the sole rider, the family room was put together by me, the car I bought for her to drive, but as I said the title is in my name so I guess that's clear cut. It's not really the pre marital nature, that's clear cut - it's just that we shared a checking account pre marital and made purchases out of it.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. The property you brought to the marriage is yours. If you have to go through the entire contested divorce process the court would rule in your favor on this matter.