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Property Rights

Posted by attorney Donald Criscuolo

During the divorce process, your own non-marital property must be protected. Division of marital property is quite different from enforcing your rights to your own non-marital property. Non-marital property is generally that property that you owned before the marriage. Another form of non-marital property is property that you inherit or is gifted to you (not by your spouse) during the marriage. It is important to clearly identify this property and have it recognized as non-marital, or else your spouse might unjustifiably acquire an interest in your property. This area of law can become quite complex. For example, difficult questions arise when your property is commingled with marital property. This creates what is called a “tracing" problem and sometimes requires the services of a forensic accountant to assist your family law attorney. Examples could be bank accounts, stock brokerage accounts, IRA’s and 401(k) accounts. Only an experienced family law attorney will be able to give you proper advice on how best to protect your property from unjustified claims by your spouse.

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