You can thank me later.  Do the leg work before your attorney asks.  Provide the completed list before the request is made. 

List what is “marital” and “separate” property.

This simple tip can save you hundreds of dollars in attorney fees.

Silly question. What is property?

Anything you own.  Car. House. Clothes. Investments. Bank accounts. Boats. RV’s.  Golf carts. Paintings. Kitchen supplies. Kids toys. Cash value in life insurance policies.

First, make a list of everything you own.  All the “personal property”.   Be as specific as possible.   For example “1988 Harley Davidson Sportster”.

If you or your spouse have a business, I will cover that in a future blog post.  It wouldn’t be included in “personal property”, but it still needs to be addressed.

Second, list “martial” or “separate” next to each line item.    For example, next to the ’88 Harley Sportster: “Romeo’s Separate Property”.

How can you tell the difference between marital or separate property?   

Disclosure: laws on this issue vary state to state, so this is just a general overview.  This is a starting point.  Talk to your attorney about items that you and your spouse do not agree on.

Here is a general overview of how to tell the difference between marital vs separate property.

Marital = anything you bought or acquired during the marriage.    For example:

1. The joint savings account you have contributed towards for 10 years

2. The minivan you bought to haul the kids around

3. The money your grandma left you, which you used to pay off the mortgage

Separate = anything you had prior to marriage and maintained as separate property.  Or gifts/inheritance that was maintained as separate property.  For example:

1. The money Auntie left you and you deposited into your individual savings account

2. The airplane dad left you, titled in your name

Be proactive and do this without being asked. It will save you money and stress in divorce.