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Who gets the money in a pre-marriage account after divorce?

It is not uncommon for Arizonians to get married later in life. As such, some Arizonians find themselves tying the knot for the first time after accumulating significant property and wealth in their own names. Depending upon the marital property laws in a person's jurisdiction, how that property is divided during his divorce can look different.

In Arizona, courts evaluate property as either marital or separate. Marital property is generally any wealth that is earned or acquired by either partner during the course of a marriage and any property that is purchased with that acquired wealth.

Separate property is considered to be any wealth or property that was owned by a partner before the marriage or that was exclusively acquired by an individual during his marriage. For example, separate property includes inheritances and gifts.

The inquiry relevant to this post asks how a bank account that a person owned before marriage will be handled during the property division process of a divorce. Based on the simple facts of this scenario, it appears that the bank account was and will continue to be the separate property of the owner after his divorce.

However, it is important for readers of this Phoenix family law blog to recognize that every property division evaluation is different. As a result, similar factual situations may result in different legal outcomes.

Many people enter into marriages with significant separate property, such as funded bank accounts, retirement investments and real property. In Arizona, property laws generally allow individuals to take from their marriages the assets they possessed prior to their marital unions. How marital property is divided can be very different. And, people who wish to learn more about property division matters in Arizona may choose to work with family law attorneys in their communities.

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