The accumulation of marital assets can be quite substantial, especially for Pennsylvania couples who have been married for several years or even decades. Dividing these assets can be challenging in even the best of situations. Commingled assets often further complicate property division, which is why it is so important to identify any as early on in the process as possible.
The problem with commingled assets
In general, any assets that one acquires during marriage are considered marital property. There are a few exceptions to this rule, though. Types of property one might acquire that remain separate property despite being married include:
- Personal gifts
- Personal injury awards (with some exceptions)
In order to preserve these assets’ status as separate property, one must be sure to treat them carefully. For example, it is better to deposit inheritance funds into a separate account and use them for primarily personal use. If deposited into a joint bank account and then used for marital purposes — such as paying off joint debt — then those funds would be considered commingled and would actually change to marital property.
It can be devastating to learn that one’s separate property is no longer considered as such, especially if this information comes out during a divorce. Protecting commingled assets can be challenging, but it is often essential for preserving financial stability after a divorce. One helpful step to protecting these assets is to search out as much information on Pennsylvania family law as possible.