Once you have decided to get a divorce, one of the things you might be looking forward to the least could be property division. If you have not gone through divorce before, the process can seem arbitrary or like a potentially nasty fight with your ex.
Often though, the division of assets and debts is fairly straightforward. One of the main things to be sorted out is what valuables are marital property and not. Here is a brief overview of what marital property means in Nebraska and why it matters.
What is marital property?
Simply put, most things that you and your spouse acquired during your marriage are marital property. This includes things like income, the family home and other real estate, your retirement investments and vehicles. Like most states, Nebraska uses the equitable distribution system in divorce, which means that you and your spouse must divide your marital property fairly. This is usually close to an even split, but a 50/50 division is not required. This gives you and your ex room to be creative and flexible in finding a solution both sides can live with.
Defining separate property
Meanwhile, separate property are assets that belong to one spouse alone. These include assets that one spouse owned before the wedding that did not become “intermingled” with marital assets during the marriage. An example of intermingled assets would be taking your checking and saving accounts and putting the funds into joint accounts with your spouse. While you earned that money before the marriage, it has since become comingled and transformed into marital property. To keep that money as separate property, it must have been kept separate throughout the marriage. In addition, certain things you acquired during the marriage, such as inheritances, can count as separate property.
Each spouse gets to keep 100 percent of their separate property. Disagreements over whether something is a marital or separate asset are among the most common roadblocks in negotiating a property division settlement. Your divorce attorney will help you determine the extent of the marital property and what you can expect to walk away with.