Divorce is not immediate. If your partner asks for a divorce, that may signify the end of your romantic relationship, but it’s still going to take months to get through this process. You’re going to be married for a while, even though you no longer want to be.
Although there are exceptions, this usually means that couples will separate while they go through a divorce. This date of separation can be incredibly important when looking at how to divide marital property.
What happens to items purchased after you separate?
The date is so important because items that you purchased after you separated may not qualify as marital assets that are owned by both of you. This can impact how you divide them.
For example, maybe you and your partner used to share one car. Now that you both have separate living spaces, you purchased your own car so that you can get to work. You and your spouse are technically still married, but this is clearly not an asset that you are buying together or that needs to be divided between the two of you. Only your name is on the title and the loan.
One tricky area can be when people will separate and then take items with them to their new home. Many of these items were purchased during the marriage and may still need to be addressed during property division. That’s why it’s so important to have proof of when the two of you separated and when you purchased items that you may consider to be your own. Official documents, such as the car’s title, can also be helpful.
What if there is a conflict?
As you can imagine, couples don’t always agree on which assets are separate assets, which ones are marital assets and how they need to be split up. That’s when they end up in court, where the court will assist them with property division under the state laws. If you find yourself in this position, it’s incredibly important that you understand all of the legal options at your disposal.