Marital property is a term used in divorce proceedings to relate to the properties acquired after the marriage and shared by both spouses. These properties are eligible for division under state law. The problem arises for wealthy people and those who have been married for a long time. What will happen if the boundary between marital and separate assets is blurred? Consult a Tacoma Divorce Attorney if you are confused about how the marital property will be divided and how much you may expect.
What is considered marital property in a divorce?
In general, the property owned by either one of the spouses is known as marital property. It includes every type of property: homes, bank accounts, personal property, retirement accounts, etc. other examples of marital property are appreciation of assets (if the spouse considered contributing the appreciation) that are considered non-marital and the gifts received after marriage was finalized. For example, if a spouse enters into marriage with a brokerage or retirement account, that will be considered non-marital. If there is no prenuptial agreement that specifies how the assets will be distributed in the event of divorce, those are considered marital. After divorce, the properties you and your spouse purchase are not considered marital property. While dividing the properties, the court considers many factors mentioned below.
- The economic conditions of each spouse during the divorce.
- Contribution of each spouse to the properties.
- If the person who is getting custody of the children stays in the marital home
- If any property is gifted or inherited as a gift by either one of the spouses
Short and long-term marriage
In many states, the length of the marriage determines what will happen to the marital property after divorce. If the marriage is a short time, the judge may decide each party to restore to the way they were before they married. The court orders spousal support for short-term marriage divorce to support the dependent spouse. For example, if the marriage was for four years, the court may order two years of spousal support. Spousal support is necessary to maintain the dependent spouse’s status after the marriage ends. If the marriage is long-term, it is possible but not guaranteed if the court will order permanent spousal support.
Every single property does not come under marital property when the marriage is legalized. One can also keep their assets separate. The properties acquired before the marriage are known as non-marital property or separate property.