Can You Separate Commingled Assets in a Divorce?
During a Florida divorce, all property is identified as either separate, marital, or commingled prior to the division of property. Separate assets are retained by their original owner while marital assets are split equitably between spouses. However, there can be questions regarding the division of commingled assets, and many clients want to know whether it is possible to split commingled assets into their constituent separate and marital parts during a divorce. At the law office of Blair H. Chan, III our team has represented many clients with commingled assets and will do everything in our power to get you the best possible settlement in your divorce. To learn more, call or contact our office today.
What is Commingled Property?
Commingled property is a special label for property in a marriage that was originally separate property owned by one spouse that becomes commingled with marital assets during the course of the marriage. One common example of commingled property is a bank account that merges each spouse’s separate account, or a house owned by one spouse prior to the wedding that is used as the primary residence during the marriage. If marital funds are used to pay the mortgage or update the house it goes from separate to commingled property.
Can You Separate Commingled Property?
In order to identify the separate property in a commingled asset, a spouse must be able to trace their separate funds. This can be done either through direct tracing of your assets, but it requires significant recordkeeping in order to prove. For example, if a bank account is commingled, a spouse may be able to trace their separate property through account statements and the court will allow them to keep those funds as separate property. For more complicated assets like a family home that used to be separate real estate, a court may allow a spouse to claim a portion of the home’s value as separate property if they can prove through mortgage statements, purchase records, and bank account or credit card statements how much separate property was invested prior to the marriage.
How to Keep Separate Property from Becoming Commingled
The easiest way to avoid complicated asset tracing is to keep separate property from becoming commingled during the marriage. One way to accomplish this is through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that identifies property interests for both spouses. Another option is to keep completely separate bank accounts, and use separate funds to pay for, maintain, or update separate property. To learn more about how to protect your separate property from becoming commingled, talk to a knowledgeable attorney today.
Contact Us Today for Help
Are you interested in learning more about how to trace commingled assets or protecting your separate property from becoming commingled during your marriage? If so, call the office or contact our Tampa family lawyers at the law office of Blair H. Chan, III today to schedule a free consultation of your case now.