What is the difference between Marital and Separate Property?

 

  • Marital property is all property acquired during the marriage by either party with marital funds.
  • Separate property is all property acquired prior to the marriage that is kept in separate name.
  • Separate property funds earned prior to the marriage must be kept in a separate account.
  • If separate property funds are placed into a joint account, they lose their separate property character and are considered marital funds.
  • The same goes with separate property.  If title to separate property is placed in joint name, then that property is transmutated and it becomes marital property.
  • Gifts from third parties and anything that is inherited during the marriage is separate property, not marital property; and
  • Gifts between spouses are considered marital property, not that spouse’s separate property.