If you recently filed for divorce, you may feel overwhelmed with the daunting process that lies ahead. One of the most difficult topics to negotiate is property division. Deciding who is entitled to what in the settlement can bring about strong emotions. Yet, it is important that both parties disclose all marital property in their possession to ensure the property is divided fairly.
Marital property consists of all possessions, property and assets accumulated during the marriage. Delaware is an equitable division of property state, meaning that all marital property is divided according to what the judge deems fair and equitable, according to state statutes.
Types of marital property
When considering marital property, you may think of the family car, home and bank account contents. However, there are many other items that are divisible as well. These include the following:
- Stock options, 401K, retirement plans and term life insurance policies
- Valuable collections, such as horses, wine, art, antiques, coins and classic cars
- Memberships to exclusive country clubs and golf courses
- Intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks, copyrights and royalties
- Lottery ticket winnings
- State and federal income tax refunds
Any gifts you and your spouse exchanged during the marriage are marital as well. Furthermore, if either spouse lent money to a third-party during the marriage, the court may divide that money after it is repaid.
Separate property not included
Keep in mind that not all property is marital. Separate property are items and money you have prior to getting married, and will stay with the original owner even after the divorce is finalized. For example, if you owned property prior to marriage and kept the title of the estate solely in your name, you will not have to split it in the divorce decree. If separate items are mixed with marital items, however, they lose their separate status and can be divided in the settlement.