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If you’re filing for divorce after being married for several years, you probably have no idea where to begin. It’s hard to determine which assets are marital properties and which assets are separate properties. Luckily, an attorney might be able to help you figure out the difference.

What is considered separate property?

Separate property is defined as anything that you owned before you got married. For example, if you owned a car before you got married, that car wouldn’t be considered marital property in the property division process. Gifts from third parties are also considered separate property. Additionally, if you receive an inheritance before or after the marriage, that would be considered separate property.

What is considered marital property?

With a few exceptions, marital property is any asset that you acquired during the marriage. This includes assets that don’t have you or your spouse’s name on them. For example, if your house has your name on the title and not your spouse’s, that house is still martial property if you bought it during your marriage. Your spouse might also be entitled to a share of your pension or retirement fund.

Other assets that can be divided include bank accounts, investments, antiques, IRAs, life insurance policies, bonuses, mutual funds, businesses and more. Don’t assume that a certain asset is off-limits. If you acquired it during your marriage and it wasn’t a gift from a third party, it will probably be divided unless you stated otherwise in a prenup.

Where can you find help with property division?

An attorney might be able to help you with the property division process. They might be able to help you understand the difference between marital property and separate property and divide your assets accordingly. They could also help you negotiate for your most treasured assets.