Married couples in New Jersey generally share a household and property during the marriage. Depending on when they marry though, each spouse could have separate assets. These are generally assets that either spouse owned before being married. However, separate property can also include inheritances or gifts received by one spouse during the marriage.
If the couple ever divorces generally, they will need to divide their marital property but will be able to keep all their separate property. However, separate property can become marital property during the marriage, depending on how each spouse manages their separate property. There are situations when spouses can comingle their separate property with marital property.
How couples can commingle separate property
Spouses can comingle their separate property in a few different ways. They can put money from a bank account with individual assets into a joint account and begin using the joint account for the couple’s expenses.
Even if people keep a separate account, if they put marital money into that different account, any separate money could be comingled. They may use separate assets to purchase a new marital home or use it to improve their existing marital home.
When spouses commingle their separate and marital property, their separate property may become marital property and the couple will divide that as well during a divorce. When going through a divorce, it is important to analyze whether a spouse has separate property and what they did with the separate assets during the marriage.
Property division is one part of the divorce process in New Jersey. Couples need to divide the assets they share during the marriage but determining what is considered marital property can be a complicated process. This will involve tracing separate assets to determine if they remained separate during the marriage or whether a spouse comingled their separate property. Experienced attorneys understand the property division process and may be able to guide the person through it.