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What is comingling of assets?

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2022 | Divorce |

A difficult part of most divorces is dividing property. The law will define how you will do this, but it still leaves many aspects up to you.

The basic idea you will need to understand is the categorization of property. SmartAsset explains the court will divide everything into marital and separate property. Separate property is that which you brought into the marriage, gifts and inheritances and belongs only to you. Marital property is everything you obtained during the marriage. However, it is possible for separate property and marital property to mix or commingle.

Commingling

Commingling is mixing two assets. You can commingle your separate property with marital property in a variety of ways.

Ways to commingle

If you and your spouse both use an asset, the court may see it as marital property, especially if you seem to have equal ownership over that asset. Another way to commingle is to put separate funds, such as an inheritance, in a joint bank account where you both have equal access and use of the money. Sometimes appreciation on separate assets becomes marital property as well.

Prevention

The only way to prevent commingling is from the start of your marriage. You have to keep separate property separate. It is essential to ensure you understand the scope of marital property. For example, your earnings from your job during the marriage are marital assets, so if you use your income to upkeep a separate property, you risk commingling.

It can be tricky to avoid mixing your property when you are in a marriage. Be prepared when you divorce to deal with this issue.