The Status of Property Acquired Before the Divorce is Final
When a couple chooses to marry, any property they acquire after the wedding is considered to be part of the marital estate, with a a few exceptions. If the parties divorce, the accumulation of marital property ceases and any property acquired thereafter is considered to be separate property.
But what happens when the couple is separated? Is the property community or separate?
That will all depend upon the type of separation you have and the laws of your state but generally speaking, any property acquired during a legal separation is considered to be separate property and not subject to the marital estate.This “separate” status would remain true for the property in question after the parties reconciled as well since the property was acquired while the marriage was legally “suspended”.
However, it should be noted that separate property can become marital property through a process called “commingling “. Essentially, this occurs when separate property is mixed with or used to acquire marital property and the distinct separate ownership becomes too muddled to sort out.
In the event that you are legally separated and considering reconcilation with your spouse, you may also want to consider drafting a post-nuptial agreement to identify your separate property acquired during the separation and protect it from becoming part of the marital estate should the reconcilation not work out.
A post-nuptial agreement can be an inexpensive alternative to battling it out in court later and don’t require an attorney to create. Click here to learn more about drafting your own post-nuptial agreement .