When Separate Property Becomes Marital Property

marital property divisionEven though your name might not be on the title of the car or house, Wisconsin is a community property state in a divorce, so half of the marital assets are yours under most circumstances. This is regardless of whether your spouse earned more money or brought in all of the income during the marriage – marital property division is subject to equal division in the state.

Of course not all property is classified as marital property. Separate property may include property acquired by one spouse prior to the marriage, which will remain that spouse’s property after a divorce. Gifts and inheritance acquired by one spouse before or during the marriage may also be considered separate property.

However, if you married your spouse when he or she already owned a home, there is still a possibility that the asset is subject to division in a divorce if it was not maintained as separate property. This is also true when it comes to inheritance if it was co-mingled or mixed with marital assets.

Examples of this might be that your spouse receives an inheritance or gift of money from a relative, which they then deposit into your joint account rather than a separate bank account. Because there was a mixing of separate and marital assets, the inheritance or gift may transmute into marital property. If your spouse owned the home when you married but the two of you use marital assets to make improvements, pay for maintenance, make mortgage payments, or put sweat equity into the home, there may be consideration given to the marital contributions when dividing assets in a divorce.

Contact An Experienced Wisconsin Marital Property Division Attorney For Help

It is important not to draw any conclusions about what marital property is or is not subject to marital asset division in a divorce until you speak to an experienced Wisconsin Family Law attorney. Many spouses simply believe that they have no rights to property that is in their spouse’s name when they divorce, but in many cases, there is some division that is warranted. Contact the Wisconsin Family Law attorneys of Probst Law Offices at 414-210-3135 for a free initial consultation of your case so you can make informed decisions regarding Wisconsin marital property division.