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Commingling Separate Property During Marriage

Posted on in Complex Property Litigation

TX high asset divorce lawyerIn Texas, most assets acquired by a person before he or she entered into a marriage will remain in that individual’s sole possession in the event of divorce. In fact, even some assets obtained during a marriage can qualify as separate property, including gifts, inheritances, and personal injury awards. There are, however, certain situations where assets that were clearly acquired prior to marriage are actually considered by the courts to be marital property, and so, are also divisible upon divorce.

In most cases, this occurs when there is evidence of commingling, which is a term used to describe the mixing of separate assets with marital property. When this occurs, the original owner will most likely have to share the asset with his or her soon to be ex-spouse. This can be a significant financial burden, so if you are concerned about the fate of some of your own property, you should strongly consider contacting a high asset divorce lawyer who can advise you.

Did I Commingle My Assets?

Commingling assets can happen in a number of different ways. For instance, commingling occurs when a couple uses marital funds to improve or maintain a home that only one spouse purchased before the marriage. This could include everything from footing the bill for renovations to making monthly mortgage payments. As long as assets that were acquired by either spouse during the marriage were used, the assets can be considered commingled. In this case, the spouse who did not help purchase the home would gain an interest in the property’s value. This can make the property division much more complicated, as both spouses may wish to remain in the home. In the event that neither party can come to an agreement about the fate of the residence, a court could step in and force the parties to sell the property and then divide the proceeds equitably.

In fact, even property that falls under one of the marital property exceptions, such as an inheritance obtained during a marriage can lose its status as separate property if it is commingled with marital assets. If, for instance, a spouse received an inheritance from a deceased relative and then deposited those funds into a joint account, the inheritance would most likely be considered commingled and so would become marital property that is subject to division. If, on the other hand, the spouse who received the inheritance had kept it in a bank account that was only in his or her name and didn’t use the funds for a marriage-related purpose, he or she could retain the entire amount as separate property, even though it was technically acquired during the marriage because it was not commingled.

Schedule a Case Evaluation Today

To set up an initial consultation with an experienced Round Rock high asset divorce lawyer, with whom you can discuss your own pending divorce, please contact The Law Offices of William D. Powers today. A member of our team is standing by to address your questions and concerns.

 

Sources:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.3.htm

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2014/08/19/divorcing-women-heres-how-to-protect-your-inheritances-and-gifts/#16fc16b69f8e

The Law Offices of William D. Powers

8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759