In a divorce, only assets acquired during the marriage are up for division. They include the family home, retirement accounts, and even joint debt. Whatever you owned before the union is separate property and is usually not divided when you divorce.
However, there are instances where your personal property can get mixed with marital assets. When this happens, your spouse may be entitled to a share of the commingled asset. You could lose out on a lot, especially when high stakes are involved.
How personal assets get commingled
There are many ways commingling can occur. Generally, it happens when you mix personal and marital assets, making it hard to tell the difference between the two classes of property.
A possible scenario is when you deposit personal money to a bank account you jointly own and operate with your spouse. The funds in the joint account will be deemed marital property since you have equal interests with your spouse. Similarly, your spouse may claim their share of a house you individually own if you used marital funds to service or pay off its mortgage.
Protecting your assets in a divorce
The best way to prevent the commingling of assets is to keep personal property separate from marital assets. However, it may be hard to achieve that, given how everything works in a marriage. Therefore, it is advisable to have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that defines who owns what. That way, it will be easy to make apart commingled assets.
It is also possible to trace back separate property in a commingled asset with the help of forensic accountants and other experts. Understanding the property division process in a Connecticut divorce and what you can do to protect your interests during the proceedings is crucial.