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The idea that everything is split evenly in a divorce is a common misconception. It can be the case in some marriages, but there are plenty of instances with unequal distribution of assets.
When it comes to a divorce settlement, very little is written in stone.
Even if you do end up with an even split, there is no specific length of time that you have to be married for that to happen.
Technically a court could rule to divide your assets equally after a single day of marriage.
Is that a likely scenario? No.
The court will look for a decision that the judge feels is fair. So, while there is no set amount of time for a 50/50 split, the length of your marriage a factor.
Generally speaking, premarital assets are protected in a divorce. That means that if it was yours before you got married, then it will remain yours after you get divorced.
However, many specific situations in which assets that were solely yours can morph into shared assets over time. If you have questions about your assets, you can visit this link to call a family attorney today.
If My Spouse Already Owned the House Will it be Split in Divorce?
The ownership of your home is often one of the biggest concerns during a divorce.
It is also a great example of how separate property can either become shared marital property to be split in a divorce or remain a premarital asset kept by the original owner.
In one scenario, your spouse owned a house when you got married, and you were living in an apartment. The house was already paid in full when you moved in with your spouse. You were married for five years, and during that time, your spouse paid the property taxes, and no major remodels were performed on the house during this period. Then you filed for divorce.
In this scenario, your spouse would most likely keep the house, as the judge is likely to rule that it is a premarital asset.When it comes to a divorce settlement, very little is written in stone. There is no specific marriage length for a 50/50 split. Click to learn more!Click To Tweet
In another scenario, your spouse and you both owned houses when you married. You decided to live at your spouse’s house, so you sold your home. You were married for two years, and during that time, you took some of the money from the sale of your house and invested it in large remodeling projects throughout your new home. Then you filed for divorce.
Even though you were married for a far shorter time than in the first scenario, the judge is likely to rule that the house has transformed from a separate asset into a shared asset. You will have to find a way to split the house equally.
How Can I Protect My Assets From Being Split Evenly in Divorce?
If you are worried about losing half of your assets in case of divorce, there are many things that you can do to keep your separate assets separate.
Here are a few options if you are looking to protect your possessions should your marriage turn sour.
A prenuptial agreement is a document signed by you and your spouse before your marriage that protects your separate property in case of divorce.
A postnuptial agreement is like a prenuptial agreement, but you sign it after you are already married.
Transmutation is the process of a separate account transforming into a shared account. It can occur if you use money from a separate account for a shared asset such as the marital home.
Commingling can happen in many ways, like if you deposit earnings from your spouse into your separate account, turning it into a shared account.
Without taking any of these steps, you will generally find that despite no specific guidelines, and with several exceptions to the rule, the longer you are married and the more your lives become intertwined, the more likely your things will be split evenly between the two of you in the case of divorce. Good luck!
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.