Understanding the legal definition of your and your spouse’s property is paramount in an impending divorce case. A brief explanation below contains information about the distinction between the types of marital property.
Marital property is a term used to describe all of the assets that belong to a marital couple. Depending upon the state in which you live, you can simultaneously have marital property that is community property, separate property, or both. Washington is a community property state.
In states that use community property as their basis for dividing income and assets during a divorce, community property or income are items that were acquired during the course of a marriage. This is true, no matter which spouse technically earned them.
Often, components such as a home purchased during the marriage, income, salary, savings, and investments are community property. As such, they are generally divided between the spouses in a more equitable manner.
Separate property belongs to an individual within a marriage. Typically, if you owned an item or asset prior to marriage, it is separate property, unless the two spouses decided during the marriage, it would belong to them both.
Issues relating to separate property during a divorce can be complex. And sometimes, disputes can arise over the difference between separate and community property. To best help protect your interests, it is often essential to retain the advice of a divorce attorney to help you with your needs. This can be especially important If there is ever an issue concerning which assets are separate or community property.
Knowing the difference between community and separate property is vital to getting what you deserve from your divorce. Seeking the services of a lawyer can also make all the difference.