Essex County Divorce Attorney Discusses Premarital Assets
In a divorce, one frequent question I receive as a Essex County Divorce Attorney is, “How we are going to treat premarital assets?” The most important thing I tell my clients is, “Keep your premarital assets separate from all of the marital assets – anything that accrues during the marriage.” If the client didn’t speak with me before they got married, and their assets are already commingled, proving what was premarital – as opposed to – what was marital is very difficult.
For instance, if you had a bank account containing several thousand dollars and, now that you’re married, you’ve added your spouse onto that bank account and continued to deposit money in it, it will be nearly impossible to segregate premarital and marital assets.
It’s the same with a retirement account. Let’s say two people who have been married for 20 years and, at the time they married, one of them had a 401(k). Now that the marriage is being dissolved, that spouse says, “Some of this money was actually premarital.” My first question will be, “Do you have a statement from 20 years ago that shows exactly what was in the account at that time?” Then, we may have to hire an expert to actually calculate how that money has grown during the passage of 20 years? The longer the marriage has existed – and if they were commingled – the more difficult it is to accurately separate the premarital asset from the marital asset.
Are you afraid what items will be subject to equitable distribution? Contact Essex County Divorce Attorney Tanya L. Freeman for navigation.