One of the first things people start worrying about after filing for divorce is how the divorce will affect them financially. This is understandable, as the financial toll of dividing assets can prove to be considerable, especially if there is a lot of money and property on the line.
While the idea of dividing all your assets can be upsetting, it is important to understand that you may have property that is not eligible for distribution. This is referred to as non-marital property.
What is non-marital property?
As stated in Pennsylvania property division laws, non-marital property is property that is not acquired during the marriage. This includes property you owned before you got married or property you acquire after the date of final separation.
It also includes gifts or inheritances given to either one of you during your marriage by a third party. Property that has been excluded from the marital estate through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is also non-marital, generally, and shielded from division.
Protecting non-marital property can be complicated
While it may seem clear to you what is and is not marital property, the truth is that categorizing property can be much more complicated than you think. For instance, if you have complex assets, including investments and businesses, then parts of them may be marital while others are non-marital.
And if you have a prenuptial agreement in place, then you need to be sure it is enforceable. If it is challenged and deemed invalid, then any property that might have been shielded by it could be vulnerable to division.
Protect yourself and your property
Shielding non-marital assets and fighting for your fair share of the marital estate is crucial in protecting your financial future. To do this, it can be wise to have the help and guidance of an attorney experienced in high-asset divorces.