Do you keep your assets if you acquired them before you were married?

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Do you keep your assets if you acquired them before you were married?

If you owned a home and car before you were married do you get to keep them if there is a divorce/ annulment.

Asked on July 28, 2011 California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First off, if there is an annulment it is as though the marriage never took place. So you each keep what you each brought onto the "marriage".

If you divorce you are entitled to keep your separate property; that is the property you either brought into the marriage, or that was gifted to you and/or inherited by you after marriage. Additionally, separate property rights also extend to any assets and property acquired with proceeds from the sale of pre-marital assets. Generally, tracing separate or pre-marital property back to its origin is not difficult to accomplish. However if there has been extensive co-mingling of funds, etc. the tracing may not be as easy. If that the case the separate property can be "transmuted" (changed) into community property.

At this point you need to consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area. They can more fully apprise you of your rights in this situation.


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