Kelly Byrnes & Danker, PLLC continues to be fully available to serve the needs of both our existing clients as well as new clients for their family law matters. Although we are primarily working remotely due to the impact of COVID-19, we remain fully operational and accessible to meet with clients via video and telephone conferencing during this time period. Read More

Knowing how separate assets might lose their separate identity

While navigating through life, it is possible that you may accumulate a considerable portion of assets along the way. If you decide to enter a marriage, you might wonder how your upcoming arrangement might affect your finances and what steps you can take to help safeguard your future.

While some newlywed couples may wish to combine many or most of their assets, this might not always prove favorable. In some cases, taking steps to safeguard separate assets could provide protection to both parties involved, but there are certain scenarios in which some of your assets could lose their separate identity.

Protecting your assets

There may be numerous circumstances in which protecting the identify of separate property could prove beneficial for everyone involved. Knowing some of the ways an asset could lose its separate identity could be vital to protecting your future, some of which might include:

  • Property titles: Property owned prior to a marriage could lose its separate identity should you choose to add your spouse to any existing property titles or include his or her name on a deed while refinancing a loan or mortgage.
  • Separate accounts: It may also be helpful to use caution regarding funds in separate accounts that existed prior to the start of a marriage, as mingling such funds with marital assets could bring about an undesirable result.
  • Changes in value: In some cases, assets and property may increase in value during a marriage, and even if an asset remains separate, the amount of any increase may become marital property.
  • Inconsistencies in records: Keeping accurate records of your financial affairs could also help limit confusion, which could prove integral to safeguarding the identify of separate property.

Seeking advice on Virginia state equitable distribution laws and other options for protection such as prenuptial agreements could also help you make informed decisions about your situation.

Dissolving a marriage

Topics such as protecting your interests by safeguarding separate assets or by implementing a prenuptial agreement may be essential components of building a strong foundation for a marriage. Discussing your financial goals with your partner could help remove uncertainties and help you find common ground on what is important to the future. Should you and your spouse choose to part ways in the future, these steps could also help limit conflict and smooth out what might otherwise be a stressful and daunting experience.