While many divorcing Utah couples hope that the process will unfold amicably, matters can sometimes become contentious. Positions can often become entrenched when the matter of child custody or visitation is addressed, and some couples find it difficult to agree on how marital property will be divided. If you are considering a divorce, it may be wise to understand how Utah law treats assets that were acquired before and during a marriage.
Assets you have acquired during your marriage are considered marital property, and Utah law requires that they be divided equitably. However, this does not mean that all assets must be divided equally between the spouses. If one spouse were to be awarded the primary residence, the other may receive other assets of comparable value, such as a stock portfolio or art collection, in return. Even the equitable division of property could become a thorny issue if you and your spouse are unable to agree on how much your assets are worth.
Assets that you owned prior to getting married, or an inheritance you received while you were married, are considered separate property, and they will generally not be divided with your spouse. However, this too can become a delicate subject if the property concerned has been commingled. An example of this could be placing inherited money into a jointly held account. The money may then be considered a gift to the marriage.
Our experienced family law attorneys have encountered these situations, and we are often able to anticipate and address potential areas of conflict. At times, we will call upon appraisers and other financial advisers when spouses are unable to agree on the value of marital property. If you have questions about how assets will be divided during your divorce, you are invited to visit our page on property division, where we have provided additional information.