It might not be uncommon for some individuals to possess various types of assets prior to entering a marriage. Assets owned before marriage are not typically considered marital property and may retain their separate identify during legal proceedings should a couple in Pennsylvania decide to divorce. However, there may be certain scenarios in which separate assets, or a portion of them, may lose this identity and become marital property, and may thus be subjected to the process of property division.
There could be numerous scenarios in which at least a portion of separate assets might be deemed marital property. For instance, commingling separate assets with marital assets could prompt a similar outcome. One example of such a scenario could pertain to the process of using one bank account to hold both separate and marital wealth, as all assets within the account might become marital property in the process.
Even if one does not mix separate and marital assets, a similar result may occur should a person use separate assets to pay for items or services for the household. With certain separate assets such as real estate, any increases to the value of the property during a marriage may be deemed marital property. While some assets received during marriage may still fall under separate property, such as inheritances, commingling these assets with marital property could also prompt a similar result.
Making informed decisions
Individuals who are facing a divorce may find that knowing how to property identify assets could prove integral to making informed decisions. Since this can be a complex endeavor, a person in Pennsylvania could find it helpful to retain the services of a family law attorney early on for guidance in navigating the process. An attorney can evaluate a client’s situation thoroughly and assist in creating a strategy for divorce proceedings that best aligns with his or her future interests and needs.