When a marriage ends, there are a variety of issues to be resolved in order to legally separate the lives of the two spouses which had been legally joined together. One of the most important aspects of a divorce in Utah is deciding on property division issues. However, this particular aspect of divorce is one of the most commonly misunderstood, which causes many people to make mistakes based upon false assumptions about the law.

Oftentimes it is women who are hurt the most by these false assumptions about divorce. Many believe that they are not entitled to a portion of particular assets. For example, many believe they are not entitled to a part of their husband’s 401K because it is a product of the husband’s employment. However, this is usually not true since anything which is acquired during the course of the marriage is considered marital property.

On the other hand, some of the assets considered separate property are assets that were owned by a spouse before the marriage. Also, inheritance money given to a spouse before or after the marriage is considered separate property as long as the funds have not been commingled with marital funds or assets. Additionally, gifts from a third party are typically considered as separate property. Finally, a prenuptial agreement may also designate specific assets as separate property.

Whether the divorce is contentious or not, it is best to have a complete understanding of applicable laws when it comes to property division divorce settlements in Utah or in any other state. This will allow a divorcee to make the right decisions regarding arguing his or her case during litigation. However, not every divorce is the same and how one applies the specific laws will depend upon each situation.

Source: Forbes, “Divorcing Women: The Truth About Your Husband’s 401(k) And Other Assets,” Jeff Landers, Aug. 8, 2013

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