Tracing Separate Assets in Family Law Cases

Missouri and Illinois Property Division Lawyers

Figuring out separate property during a divorce can be one of the most important issues in the property division aspect of a party. For instance, an individual in the divorce may have had a 401k or IRA before they got married. They put money into this account before marriage through their hard work and labor. But, then, the individual gets married. After they get married, as a couple they continue to contribute to the 401K or the IRA. That's when pre-marital funds and now marital funds are being mixed together- or better known as "commingled."

When a divorce later takes places, this can add to complexity as it relates to these assets. In these situations, one party may ask that entire 401k or IRA be split as martial property in the divorce. However, the spouse who had funds in these accounts prior to the marriage may argue that they should get whatever was in these accounts prior to marriage as their separate property.

How to Trace Separate Property in Divorce?

When a party wants to argue that a portion of the property in a divorce is separate property, they generally have to do so by clear and convincing evidence.  As it relates to premarital funds in an IRA or 401k, the separate funds will generally need to be traced out from the account. This often requires a forensic account reviewing statements and then doing an analysis to determine the amount that was in these account during the marriage.

Parties may also need to subpoena the statements from the date of the marriage to try and calculate the amount that was in the account previous to the marriage.

In addition to 401ks or IRAs, tracing can be important for other assets like bank accounts, investment accounts, whole life insurance accounts and other assets where a party might have built up cash value prior to marriage. Of course, in some instances, a party might consider having a prenuptial agreement drafted prior to getting marriage to ensure the protection of these assets.

Tracing can be important for other assets as well. These assets range from bank accounts, investment accounts, life insurance accounts, and other assets where the party may have built cash value previous to the marriage. In some instances, a party may have drafted a prenuptial agreement prior to the marriage, to ensure the protection of these assets.

Property Division Lawyers in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield and Beyond in Misssouri, Illinois and Kansas

If you need help with a divorce matter where the tracing of separte assets is an important issue, Stange Law Firm, PC can help.  You can contact us online or call us at 855-805-0595.