What is the Difference Between Marital Property & Separate Property?

When spouses get divorced, one of their top priorities is often protecting the property that is rightfully theirs. In many cases, courts will break their property down into two primary categories: marital property and separate property. If you are currently about to enter the divorce process, you are most likely looking to protect and preserve the assets that are rightfully yours. Please continue reading and speak with our experienced California divorce attorneys to learn more about marital property, separate property, and the equitable distribution process. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What is marital property in a divorce?

Essentially, marital property is all property that was accumulated throughout the course of a marriage. In most cases, marital property is subject to equitable distribution, which essentially means that a judge will decide which spouse is entitled to which pieces of marital property. In many cases, homes, income, furniture, cars, retirement/pension accounts, and more are all considered marital property. Rather obviously, marital property is critically important, which is why you should strongly consider hiring a knowledgeable attorney who can protect it.

What is separate property in a divorce?

Separate property includes property that was acquired either before marriage or outside of a marriage. In most cases, separate property includes inheritances, gifts given to an individual by someone who was not their spouse, compensation obtained in a settlement for a personal injury claim, and more. Fortunately, in many cases, separate property is not included in the equitable distribution process, however, this is not always the case.

How can I protect my property from a divorce?

Fortunately, there are ways to protect marital property from the pitfalls of divorce. For example, in many cases, if you are not yet married, you can draft a document known as a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse. Essentially, in a prenuptial agreement, you can outline what will happen with certain assets, should you ever get divorced. That being said, if you are already married, you may draft a postnuptial agreement, which essentially serves the same purpose, though it is drafted exclusively after marriage. If you have any additional questions or you are ready to get started, please do not hesitate to speak with our experienced California divorce attorneys today. We are always here to help.

Contact our experienced Los Angeles firm

Divorce and family law issues are notoriously complicated and personal, which is why you must hire an attorney with years of experience, as well as the compassion and skill needed to handle these sensitive matters. For the qualified, dedicated legal representation you and your family deserve and need, contact Zitser Family Law Group, APC today.

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