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How to keep separate property separate in a divorce

Throughout people’s lives in Utah, they may acquire a number of assets. They may also start various bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts and other assets which may start out with little value, but grow over time. They also may acquire these assets or start the accounts at different stages of their lives. Some of them they may acquire prior to their marriage and others they may acquire after they are married.

This may not seem to matter too much in terms of people’s ability to use the assets, but it does matter if people ever get divorced. During a divorce couples need to divide all of their marital assets. This means the assets that they earned or acquired during the marriage. The assets they acquired before the marriage is separate property and even during a divorce each spouse keeps their separate property. However, people often continue to use separate property during the marriage and it can become comingled and converted to marital property.

Tips to avoid comingling of separate property

One is to keep separate accounts for separate property and do not put marital income in the separate accounts. Also, keep good accounting of separate assets and marital assets. People should also only purchase property with separate assets that they intend to keep separate.

Assets that are in retirement accounts or investment accounts will also earn money during the marriage. However, being able to trace the passive investment gains is important. Passive gains are what the account would have earned based on the market alone and not through any efforts of the owner of the accounts. Passive gains on separate assets are also considered separate property during a divorce.

There are many people who go through divorces in Utah each year. The amount and types of assets that the couples own certainly vary, but in every divorce the marital property must be divided. In high-asset divorces this can be a complicated and time-consuming process. Experienced attorneys understand this process and how to ensure all separate property is kept separate. Consulting with one could be beneficial.

 

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