How Does Separate Property Become Marital Property in Boise ID?
The divorce process is tricky and can be emotionally challenging when it comes to the division of marital property.
The property division process is an important part of any divorce. Couples may have assets that they owned before the marriage, a spouse’s separate property; such property is owned independently by that one spouse. But there will also be marital assets and debts acquired during the marriage, which are jointly owned under community property law.
Some couples can agree on how property should be categorized and divided. However, this is not always the case.
Here at Idaho Divorce Law Firm, our skilled divorce attorneys have the knowledge and experience to ensure that you finalize your divorce with the best outcome possible. We will negotiate and mediate in an attempt to come to an amicable agreement in which the need for the court is eradicated, and if this cannot happen, we will ensure that you have the most compelling case to present to a judge in court.
Call us today for a free consultation with a Boise, ID division of assets attorney at 208-314-3302!
Property Division Laws In Idaho
In Idaho, your domicile is your permanent home or the place you return to after you have been away.
Community property laws in which the spouse is domiciled will apply in the marital property division agreement during the divorce.
Idaho Division of Assets
Idaho is a community property state and Idaho property division laws will apply to anyone who is domiciled in Idaho or any spouses who own real estate or real property that is located in Idaho.
Assets and debts will need to be categorized as separate or community property, and when this is finalized, the community property, which is owned 50/50 unless argued otherwise, will be valued.
This can be a complicated process, and an Idaho divorce attorney will prove invaluable when determining the value of assets such as real estate, art, and retirement assets; or debts such as mortgages, credit card debt, and car payments.
As the name suggests, separate property is assets owned individually or separately from your spouse. It includes any property that was owned prior to the commencement of the marriage, as well as things such as inheritance, gifts, money earned while domiciled in a separate property state, and anything listed as separate in a prenuptial agreement.
Assets that a spouse acquires through the sale or exchange of separate property will also be considered a separate asset under Idaho property division laws.
The spouse claiming independent ownership of assets must prove their claims with financial records and any other relevant documentation.
Community property refers to assets acquired during the marriage and is jointly owned by both spouses.
It may include income earned, real estate, joint bank accounts, and communal debts. Any income that is earned by separate property during the marriage is likely to be considered community property unless the couple had agreed otherwise in a prenuptial agreement that this income is to be kept separate. This includes rent or earnings generated by a separately owned business, for example.
Whilst Idaho state laws determine that community property should be owned 50/50 if you have extenuating circumstances or sufficient evidence which outlines clear justifications as to why community property should be split more equitably, a judge may decide that one spouse deserves a higher percentage.
Separate Property vs. Community Property
In any property division agreement, the first thing that needs to happen is the categorization of property into community or separate.
This is not always as clear-cut as it may seem. Sometimes separate property may become jointly owned after the marriage. Examples of this may include the addition of names on the deeds to properties or bank accounts and finances that were commingled during the marriage.
Assets are not fixed as community or separate; they may change depending on the circumstances of the marriage. A spouse who was the sole homeowner of the family home may change the title, so it becomes community property. A spouse may also change an asset from community to separate by signing a deed specifically giving their spouse ownership.
There are also cases in which spouses unintentionally changed separate property to community property. For example, depositing money into spouses’ separate bank accounts or one spouse making payments on their partner’s separate debts.
Steps must be taken to ensure that you protect separate property and that it does not become co-mingled during the marriage. It may not matter if you have previously written agreements if separate property is used for community purposes. Individual property must be kept separate; otherwise, you risk your property being deemed community during the divorce process. The court will then have the power to split those assets 50/50 unless there is compelling evidence that would allow a judge to stray from standard community property division procedures.
Property Division Agreement
Factors that may affect the division of property in Idaho
Things that may affect the way in which a judge deems the marital property to be fairly distributed could be:
- Marital fault – in the case of an ‘at-fault’ divorce, a judge may allocate a higher proportion to the innocent party.
- Economic misconduct – if one spouse has behaved negligently or recklessly with money, they may be entitled to a lower proportion.
- Financial stability – the court will consider both spouses’ future income and earning capacity.
- Spousal education contributions – if one spouse contributed to the training, education, or career furthering of the other spouse, they may be entitled to a higher proportion.
- Child Custody – If one spouse has full custody of minors, they may be entitled to parts of marital property, such as the family home.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract made by couples before they are married to ensure ownership of specific assets and debts should the marriage come to an end.
This means that assets can be protected as separate property as any pre-arranged prenuptial agreements will take precedence over Idaho state’s property division laws.
Contact an Idaho Division of Assets Lawyer Now!
Dividing and determining how property should be categorized is not an easy process. It can become very messy, especially when divorcing couples do not agree on how assets should be divided.
Here at Idaho Divorce Law Firm, we have specific experience in successful property division cases. One of our skilled mediators and negotiators will work tirelessly to ensure that you are satisfied with the outcome of your divorce.
Call us now at 208-314-3302 for a free consultation with a Boise, Idaho, division of assets attorney!