What Assets Can Be Withheld From Property Division?

The heart of property division in divorce is dividing marital property — assets that belonged to you both — from property you obtained and kept separate from the marriage.

Because of the high value of many of these assets — the family home, vehicles, other real property, business assets, inheritances, gifts, commingled money, retirement accounts — it is important that division be done carefully and correctly. The quality of the future you are about to embark on depends on it.

The rule is that all property acquired during the marriage is considered marital. This is true even when the assets are used exclusively by one of the spouses. The wife thus "owns" the husband's golf clubs that only he has ever used, and the husband "owns" the wife's business. This is true even if the property is titled in one spouse's name.

What constitutes separate property then? Only a few items:

  • Property owned by either spouse before they got married.
  • Inheritances received by either the husband or wife, before or after they got married
  • A gift received by either spouse from a third party
  • Compensation for the pain and suffering element in an accident settlement or judgment

The law is restrictive. Even funds that started out as separate become transformed into marital property when they are commingled with marital funds, even for a short time. When there is debate whether an item is married or separate from the marriage, the party with the best lawyer often prevails.

At Reisinger Booth & Associates, PLLO, of Omaha, we bring extensive experience and deep familiarity with Nebraska family law to the business of separating what will be yours from what will belong to your ex.

Do you have additional questions about property division? Call Reisinger Booth & Associates, PLLO, in Omaha, Nebraska, at 402-451-4488, or ask our attorneys your questions by email.