What are commingled assets?

On Behalf of | May 1, 2024 | Property Division

Generally speaking, the assets that a couple acquires after they get married are shared assets. This includes things like a car that they buy together or the earnings from their jobs. These are marital assets, so they need to be split up in some fashion if the couple gets divorced.

Conversely, you have some separate assets that belong only to one individual. The most common example is something that the person owned before the marriage. But this can also apply to certain things that are acquired even after the wedding. One example of this is an inheritance that someone’s parents leave directly to them. Even if they are already married, this is typically considered a shared asset at the beginning.

Mixing assets together

Commingled assets are essentially just assets that have been mixed together. For instance, say that someone has a shared bank account with their spouse, and their paychecks are directly deposited into that account every two weeks. When they get their inheritance from their parents, they just deposit it into the same bank account. They have now commingled that money with their other financial assets.

Why is this important? It can change the status of the inheritance. Once it has been commingled, it is then a shared asset because both people could use it and benefit from it, and both of them have access to it. If it had been kept separate, it may not have qualified for property division during the divorce. But since it was commingled, both spouses have a claim.

As you can see, property division often gets complex with financial assets. It’s critical to understand exactly what options you have.