All marital property is divided equitably-some factors considered by the courts include: -Duration of the marriage; -Income, employability, age and health of each party; -Contributions of each party in acquiring the property; -Dissipation by either party (if any) -Value of each party's non-marital estate Each party keeps his or her own non-marital property such as: -Property acquired before the marriage; -Property acquired during the marriage by gift or inheritance; -Property excluded by agreement (Pre-Marital Agreement) Tracing and Keeping Documentation: Especially where there is no Pre-Marital Agreement, clients should keep financial documentation from prior to the marriage. This will assist in establishing what assets a party had and the values and account balances at time of marriage. Non-marital assets exchanged for separate non-marital property remain separate property regardless of the number of exchanges, absent intent or otherwise. KEEP DOCUMENTATION.
Key Points to Remember
1. One should always consider Pre-Marital Agreements 2. Keep copies of records from prior to marriage 3. Trace transfers of non-marital property during marriage 4. Keep non-marital property titled in separate name 5. Do not commingle marital and non-marital assets 6. Keep employment income out of non-marital accounts 7. Set up new accounts for inheritances received 8. Business owners consult with an accountant 9. Utilize trusts for non-marital assets 10. Consult experienced divorce attorney.