I realize everything "marital" will be split 50/50 but I have concerns over a couple items.
A small appartment building I inherited before marriage was sold for $187,000 during the marriage
1968 Camaro was purchased for $27k with this money and put in my name
2005 Toyota Sequoia was purchased with $32k, which was later traded for a 2008 Camry
Another rental property was purchased with $30k down payment from this money
The other $90-100k of the money was used to pay off marital debt, spent by wife, used to purchase other assets that were later sold and put back into the marital accounts. Am I going to have a stronger claim to these assets? It is reasonable to think I should get classic car and Camry b/c and "credit" for the money I put in a rental property?
Generally speaking, property acquired during the marriage with separate assets constitute separate property. The problem most people face is tracing the property acquired to the separate money used to purchase it. If you have good records and can trace the acquisition of these assets to the inherited funds, then it is likely that a court will declare those assets separate and they will not be "in the pot" for the division of the marital assets. 50/50 division of marital assets is the presumption, but it is not the end-all, be-all. The fact that you have separate assets can be a factor that a court can use to divide the marital assets differently than 50/50. Note also that if you put the new real estate you purchased into both your name and your wife's name, you may have created a gift of this property to the marriage. A good family law attorney can assist you in resolving all these issues.
The important thing to remember in divorce and especially in equitable distribution is that everything is negotiable. In this situation if you have commingled or mixed up the money that was from your inheritance with marital money and assets it will be difficult to overcome the presumption of the 50/50 split. You should contact a local attorney to help you figure out whether you can track where the money went and how best to protect your claim moving forward.
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