ContractsCounsel Logo
Home Blog Marital Property

Jump to Section

ContractsCounsel has assisted 22 clients with wedding contracts and maintains a network of 24 family lawyers available daily.

Marital property refers to assets and liabilities, and these may include land, bank accounts, stocks, retirement accounts, cars, furniture, or jewelry. Note that when it comes to divorce or legal separation, these items will be divided among couples.

How to Protect Marital Property

The protection of marital property is an important thing for any married couple to think about.

  1. Make a Prenuptial Agreement. It is a lawful agreement between two spouses that states how possessions can be distributed in case of divorce. This could serve as a way of protecting what one partner brings in at times of getting married.
  2. Maintain Separate Property. In case one partner has some separate properties like inheritance or something else before the wedding, it is important not to mix them with the family’s wealth since this would make their division difficult in the future should separation occur.
  3. Keep Track of Everything. It’s also important for all assets, including bank accounts, retirement accounts, and real estate, to be well documented whenever possible; this may prevent disagreements that might arise on their ownership and value.
  4. Set Up a Trust. This can help protect individual assets from being taken by creditors or judgments against you.
  5. Ensure Joint Accounts Awareness. When they have joint accounts, husbands need to remember that both partners own these assets jointly and have full access rights over them. They ought also to take note of financial acquisitions and make sure both persons are comfortable with the use of common property acquired.
  6. Look for Legal Help. For any couple who thinks about protecting their marital belongings, seeking advice from legal experts will surely help them decide on appropriate ways that are relevant within their jurisdiction.

Protections must be planned carefully, communication must happen regularly, and a focus on details regarding law must be emphasized when securing spousal property so as not to lose hard-earned riches through procrastination into the future.

Importance of Marital Property

The significance of marital property in America, particularly in marriage and divorce, cannot be overstated. Accordingly, here are some reasons why the issue remains so important:

  • Property Ownership: The law presumes that anything acquired by either spouse during marriage is considered “marital property” subject to division if necessary during a divorce case. It is thus fundamentally important for the parties involved in a marriage dissolution proceeding to know what constitutes such items so that agreements may be made amongst themselves or else orders given by courts.
  • Fair Division: Most states apply the equitable distribution principle where they seek to divide marital property fairly between spouses who have filed for a divorce. Defining what counts as marred possessions is crucial for ensuring an unbiased split up about these resources.
  • Separate Property Protection: A party’s separate property could be real estate that was owned before marriage or obtained during the matrimonial union by way of gift or inheritance. To safeguard such a spouse’s possessions, one should be able to differentiate between marital and separate assets.
  • Debt Assignment: This involves deciding which debts incurred during the marriage are stacked as marital debts and should be subject to division in the event of divorce. Describing what debts are indeed marital can guarantee equitable distribution among partners.
  • Financial Planning: Knowing who owns and how much is worth for all properties within marriages contributes greatly towards financial planning when people are married as well as after their divorces. It equally helps parties make intelligent choices regarding expenditure, savings as well as investments.

In general, marital property is an extremely important issue for individuals in America, especially those involved in marriage and divorce cases. It is necessary to consult a lawyer so that there can be fairness during property division that also suits each party’s interest.

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Umar F.

1 project on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Zachary J.

381 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Daniel R.

146 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Sara S.

137 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Essentials of Marital Property

  • Marital assets and liabilities are referred to as marital property
  • It includes real estate holdings, bank accounts, investments and savings plans
  • Depending on the jurisdiction in which a divorce is taking place, the way how the properties will be shared can differ
  • Some states follow community property laws, while others use equitable distribution laws.
  • Generally speaking, community property laws require equal allocation of all marital assets and obligations.
  • Equitable distribution laws provide for more flexible sharing based on several factors, such as the duration of matrimony and the contribution by each spouse.
  • Some types of personal properties can be treated as separate properties when it comes to their division during divorce.
  • Allocation of marital properties is complex and may involve negotiation, mediation, or even litigation for resolution purposes.
  • Both parties should understand their rights regarding what they own together and their obligations toward matrimonial property. Therefore, they need skilled lawyers’ advice.

Types of Marital Properties

  • Community Property: Community property refers to an ownership category where there is equal ownership by both spouses depending on various states. Under community property laws, anything acquired while they were still married, including income earned or liabilities contracted, belongs equally to the two spouses. While going through a divorce trial, it is customary for community properties to be split half-half between them.
  • Equitable Distribution Property: Most other states regard property obtained during the marriage as a marital asset subject to equitable distribution. Despite this, equitable distribution means the properties are shared equally or fairly when divided. This concept evaluates diverse issues, including the duration of the marriage, spouses’ respective contributions to it, and the capacities of both parties to pay each other.

Key Terms for Marital Property

  • Community Property: It is a term that refers to certain types of properties that are considered to be owned by both spouses in a marriage. This includes property acquired during the marriage, with limited exceptions, regardless of who earned the income or whose name appears on the title.
  • Separate Property: Some exclusive belongings that one of the couples owns and is not considered part of common family property, including property one person had before their wedding, inherited, or was given as a gift for one spouse only.
  • Marital Agreement: A couple’s understanding of how their conjugal assets will be split up once they get a divorce or separation. Included can be pre-nuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, and separation settlements, among others.
  • Equitable Distribution: A law doctrine dictating how marital possessions should be distributed between married persons following their divorce or legal separation. The principle implies that there is no requirement for equal division of property, but some fair arrangement depending on various factors has to be made.
  • Co-Mingling: Sometimes, separate assets are combined with marital assets so that it becomes difficult to determine what asset belongs to which party while divorcing or separating from each other.

Final Thoughts on Marital Property

Marital property is a vital part of the union that should be ignored at no cost. Appreciating different kinds of marital possessions, for instance, community property and separate property can help protect assets and plan for the future by couples.

It is also vital to have transparent conversations about money matters and think about a prenuptial deal to delineate how things will be divided in cases when divorce occurs. Equitable distribution is a legal doctrine that determines how the assets are split, but this could be intricate, ending up requiring great legal experience. Understanding and safeguarding marital property may assist couples in laying a firm basis for their marriage and finances.

If you want free pricing proposals from vetted lawyers that are 60% less than typical law firms, Click here to get started. By comparing multiple proposals for free, you can save the time and stress of finding a quality lawyer for your business needs.

ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.

Need help with a Wedding Contract?

Create a free project posting
Clients Rate Lawyers 4.9 Stars
based on 11,298 reviews

Meet some of our Lawyers

Garrett M. on ContractsCounsel
View Garrett
4.9 (6)
Member Since:
June 15, 2023

Garrett M.

Free Consultation
Cincinnati, Ohio
4 Yrs Experience
Licensed in KY, OH
University of Cincinnati College of Law

Attorney Garrett Mayleben's practice is focused on representing small businesses and the working people that make them profitable. He represents companies in structuring and negotiating merger, acquisition, and real estate transactions; guides emerging companies through the startup phase; and consults with business owners on corporate governance matters. Garrett also practices in employment law, copyright and trademark law, and civil litigation. Though industry agnostic, Garrett has particular experience representing medical, dental, veterinary, and chiropractic practices in various business transactions, transitions, and the structuring of related management service organizations (MSOs).

Ted A. on ContractsCounsel
View Ted
4.9 (19)
Member Since:
August 10, 2023
Scott S. on ContractsCounsel
View Scott
5.0 (47)
Member Since:
October 27, 2021

Scott S.

Free Consultation
New York, NY
17 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
Benjamin Cardozo School of Law

Scott graduated from Cardozo Law School and also has an English degree from Penn. His practice focuses on business law and contracts, with an emphasis on commercial transactions and negotiations, document drafting and review, employment, business formation, e-commerce, technology, healthcare, privacy, data security and compliance. While he's worked with large, established companies, he particularly enjoys collaborating with startups. Prior to starting his own practice in 2011, Scott worked in-house for over 5 years with businesses large and small. He also handles real estate leases, website and app Terms of Service and privacy policies, and pre- and post-nup agreements.

Chia-Fen Y. on ContractsCounsel
View Chia-Fen
4.9 (3)
Member Since:
November 16, 2021

Chia-Fen Y.

Free Consultation
Fullerton, CA
10 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
University of California, Davis

Attorney Yu represents clients in business and real estate transactions and has successfully handled more than 200 cases. She has experience in corporate law, including forming legal entities, employment law and workers’ compensation law matters pertaining to wage and hour violations, industrial injuries, misclassifications, and other employment-related torts and contracts. Attorney Yu works with employers to address employee relationship issues, develop effective policies and craft employment agreements. Attorney Yu regularly advises clients on the legal and business aspects of potential investments, ongoing business operations, debt collections, shareholders and partners disputes, business purchase agreements, risk assessment, intellectual property disputes, and potential contract disputes. She regularly handles real estate law matters such as landlord-tenant disputes, lease agreements, buy-sell disputes, title disputes, and construction disputes. She also has substantial experience settling debts, and she drafts, reviews and negotiates settlement agreements. Attorney Yu conducts extensive legal research and provides on-point legal advice to both corporate and individual clients.

Natalie A. on ContractsCounsel
View Natalie
Member Since:
November 13, 2021

Natalie A.

Commercial Counsel
Free Consultation
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
18 Yrs Experience
Licensed in AK
Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec - LLB Civil Law

I am an experienced in house counsel and have worked in the pharmaceutical, consumer goods and restaurant industry. I have experience with a variety of agreements, below is a non-exhaustive list of types of agreements I can help with: Supply Agreements Distribution Agreements Manufacture Agreements Service Agreements Employment Agreements Consulting Agreements Commercial and residential lease agreements Non-compete Agreements Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements Demand Letters Termination notice Notice of breach of contract My experience as in house counsel has exposed me to a wide variety of commercial matters for which I can provide consulting and assistance on. I have advised US, Canadian and International entities on cross-functional matters and have guided them when they are in different countries and jurisdictions as their counterparties. I can provide assistance early on in a business discussion to help guide you and make sure you ask the right questions even before the commercial agreement needs to be negotiated, but if you are ready to put a contract in place I can most definitely help with that too.

Jeff C. on ContractsCounsel
View Jeff
Member Since:
November 16, 2021

Jeff C.

Free Consultation
Denver, Colorado
38 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CO
Creighton University

Jeff Colerick has been practicing law for over 30 years and has devoted his professional career to providing clients with intelligent representation and personal care. His experience as a lawyer involving complex matters has resulted in a long history of success. Jeff has built a practice based on a deep understanding of real estate assets and corporate activities. He combines his industry knowledge with a practical and collaborative approach to problem solving. Jeff’s client relationships are strong because they are built on mutual respect. Jeff talks the language of real estate and understands that it is a vehicle to deliver your business strategy. Jeff provides practical, responsive, and strategic advice related to real estate acquisition, construction, leasing, and sale of a wide range of real property types, including office, retail, medical, industrial, industrial flex-space, mixed-use condominium, multifamily and hospitality. As leader of the Goodspeed Merrill real estate practice group, Jeff represents clients with commercial and residential transactions, purchases and sales, land acquisition and development, real estate investment and financing, financing liens and security interests, and commercial leasing and lease maintenance, including lease enforcement support and advice. The firm represents clients in matters concerning construction, lending, developers, contractors and subcontractors, cell site leasing, property and boundary disputes, common interest community law, and residential condominiums and planned communities.

Harrison K. on ContractsCounsel
View Harrison
Member Since:
November 17, 2021

Harrison K.

Attorney and Executive
Free Consultation
Los Angeles
29 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA, MD
California Western School of Law

Harrison Kordestani is an executive with over twenty-five years experience in entertainment and media, energy, technologies, and start-ups. Mr. Kordestani has also developed a specialized legal and strategic consulting practice representing select entertainment, oil and gas, mortgage lending, and technology start-up clientele. He is also deeply passionate about new technologies and has also actively worked in building companies in the video-on-demand, wearable tech, information of things, demand prediction and app-marketing spaces. As an attorney, Mr. Kordestani's focus has been on transactional drafting and negotiation and providing ongoing legal counsel, corporate compliance, and contract interpretation to numerous private individuals as well as companies in varied fields.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Quick, user friendly and one of the better ways I've come across to get ahold of lawyers willing to take new clients.

View Trustpilot Review

Need help with a Wedding Contract?

Create a free project posting
Clients Rate Lawyers 4.9 Stars
based on 11,298 reviews
See All Family Lawyers

Contracts Counsel was incredibly helpful and easy to use. I submitted a project for a lawyer's help within a day I had received over 6 proposals from qualified lawyers. I submitted a bid that works best for my business and we went forward with the project.

View Trustpilot Review

I never knew how difficult it was to obtain representation or a lawyer, and ContractsCounsel was EXACTLY the type of service I was hoping for when I was in a pinch. Working with their service was efficient, effective and made me feel in control. Thank you so much and should I ever need attorney services down the road, I'll certainly be a repeat customer.

View Trustpilot Review

I got 5 bids within 24h of posting my project. I choose the person who provided the most detailed and relevant intro letter, highlighting their experience relevant to my project. I am very satisfied with the outcome and quality of the two agreements that were produced, they actually far exceed my expectations.

View Trustpilot Review

Need help with a Wedding Contract?

Create a free project posting
Clients Rate Lawyers 4.9 Stars
based on 11,298 reviews

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call

Find lawyers and attorneys by city