When it comes to splitting up property when you and your ex are headed for divorce, you may wonder how can you prove what is nonmarital property.
In most cases, all property is considered to be marital or joint property, belonging to the two of you collectively, unless it is proven not to be. Proving that property was gifted to you or acquired either prior to, in the midst of or after separating from your spouse will require you to produce either a prenuptial agreement, bank records or receipts documenting that.
As part of divorce proceedings, you'll likely be asked by your attorney or a judge at some point to list the assets that you two own. For each one that you're laying claim to, you'll need to dig deep to remember when you got it and how you paid for it.
If you received an inheritance during your marriage, then you'll need to provide documentation showing that you were intended to be the sole beneficiary of that gift in order for your spouse's claims to it to be denied.
Assets that are contained in a prenup are often protected from a ex laying claim to them provided that the agreement was properly executed and that disclosures of all known assets were made. If a judge determines that there was a blatant attempt to not disclose the existence of certain assets or one of the spouses was coerced into signing the document, then the protections a prenup generally affords may be done away with.
Wedding rings are often considered to be nonmarital assets as they're seen as a premarital gift from one spouse to another. Other marital ones such as art, jewelry and china may lose sentimental value with one spouse, yet still possess financial value. A family law attorney can help you identify the hidden value of these undesired items.
On the flip side of the coin, if you suspect that your ex has additional bank accounts, business interests, real estate or investment or retirement funds that have gone undisclosed, then an attorney can help you stake a claim to these as well.
If you're considering getting divorced and you have a significant amount of assets to divide up, then a Fort Myers attorney can guide you in the process of doing so.