Separating Marital from Non-Marital Assets

During a divorce, only marital assets are subject to division. As a result, before determining how the marital assets are divided, the Court must first what assets are part of the marital estate and which assets are considered separate property.

Commonly, where one or both parties worked before the marriage, the full value of retirement accounts will not be considered subject to division if a portion of that account was earned before the parties were married. In such cases it must first be determined what percentage of the retirement monies were earned prior to the marriage and is therefore not subject to equitable division.

Once the marital assets are determined, it is then often necessary to determine the actual value of the assets. The court will look to determine what the Fair Market Value is of all of the party’s property, typically through the use of an appraiser.