An attorney from Smith Strong can explain that one of the most contentious issues involving divorce is the determination of marital assets and their distribution. Here are a few things to keep in mind. Richmond family law office

Assets Should Be Disclosed
All assets should be disclosed during a divorce. Additionally, all liabilities should be disclosed. If a spouse fails to disclose this information, they may be subject to severe consequences, such as being required to completely surrender the hidden assets to the other spouse. 

Disclosure Is Important
In addition to allowing a spouse to receive the assets to which he or she is entitled, full disclosure of assets helps to create a marital estate summary. This summary can later be used to help determine the financial condition of each spouse and what his or her financial condition will be like after divorce. This information may help support or negate the need for spousal maintenance or alimony

Some Assets Are Separate
Simply because two people are married does not mean that they both own half of the assets. However, all assets and liabilities should still be disclosed so that the court can evaluate whether the item is marital property or separate property. In particular, items that were received as gifts or inheritances are generally considered separate property. Courts can look to the evidence surrounding a particular asset in order to determine its identification as marital or separate property, such as when the item was received, the circumstances surrounding the acquisition and whether there was intent by the giver to give the item to one or both spouses. Separate property is that which does not have to be shared with the other spouse. Additionally, assets that were acquired before the marriage are usually considered separate property. However, a spouse can convert separate property into marital property by retitling it or comingling it with marital funds.

If you would like to learn more information about marital assets and how they are treated during divorce, contact Smith Strong by calling 804-325-1245 (Richmond office) or 757-941-4298 (Williamsburg office).