What Is Considered Marital Property?

Marital property, as the name suggests, refers to property acquired during the marriage. Inheritance, third party gifts, and property acquired before marriage are considered separate property. Couples can choose to seclude certain properties from marital property. In this case, divorce attorney Los Angeles can help partners sign a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Couples need to understand types of marital property and choose ownership structure that represents their best interest.

A real estate or furniture acquired together during marriage qualifies as marital property. Other properties comprising marital property include retirement account, securities, pensions, boats, and IRA.

Marital property laws aim to protect spousal rights. It is prudent to seek services of divorce lawyer and property division attorney if you feel your rights are being violated. The legal residence of a couple determines how to divide marital property if the marriage ends in divorce. In simple terms, the distribution of marital property is determined by the state you leave in.

Marital Property: What to Know
Most states use common law property. According to the Common law system, property acquired by one couple is owned solely by the individual. On the other hand, the property belongs to both partners if the title deed contains both spouses’ names. This means that each spouse is entitled to half interest in the property. For instance, if the title of land includes the name of the husband, the land belongs to him. However, both spouses own the land if both husband and wife put their name on the title. When purchasing a property as a court, ensure you involve a property division lawyer Los Angeles. Asset and property division lawyers help avoid property division problems that may arise in the future.

If one spouse dies, their property is divided according to their will under the common law. If there is no will in effect during death, the property is distributed according to the probate. The distribution, in turn, is based on the legal ownership of the marital property. A divorce lawyer and property division attorney can help draft a will.

The surviving spouse receives the property under the joint tenancy with right of survivor or tenancy by the entirety. The deceased will not count in this case. In contrast, if the spouse owns the property as a tenancy in common, the deceased will determine who inherits the property, including someone other than the surviving spouse. A divorce attorney Los Angeles, will advise on the best option for you. If the property does not have a title or deed, the couple who paid for it owns it.

Community Property States
A couple living in community property states own a marital property equally. They must account for both community income and separate income. Marital property in these states include earnings, debts, and property purchases using the earnings. Community property includes property acquired after marriages up until permanent separation. Property acquired after separation is classified as separate property.

The court steps in if couples can’t decide how to divide their marital property after legal separation or divorce. The best bet is for couples to visit a property division lawyer Los Angeles and sign a prenup stating how they wish to share their property upon divorce.

Take Away
Marital property includes assets and debts acquired during the marriage. Property acquired before marriage, such as inheritance and gift, is non-marital property. Mixing separate property with marital property converts the separate property into marital property. In the unfortunate case of divorce or death of a partner, property division can get messy. Consider hiring services of an asset and property division lawyer to prepare a prenup agreement of how you wish to divide your estate well in advance. Call our family law attorney Los Angeles today!

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