As you approach your divorce, one of the things you will need to work out is which property you have that is shared marital property and which is separate. Proving that certain property is separate may help you keep more of your assets following your divorce, so it’s a good idea to approach your divorce with the understanding that you need to provide evidence that the property you believe is separate actually is.
It isn’t necessarily difficult to prove that assets are separate as long as you have the right documentation. Here are some different ways to prove which assets are yours.
Remember to keep the receipts
For any items you have in your home, ask yourself if you have the receipts. If you do, then you may be able to prove the date of purchase and that the item was yours prior to marriage. You may also be able to show if you used private funds, such as an inheritance, to purchase a specific item for yourself. Just be wary that commingling assets may turn once separate assets into marital assets.
Receipts are an excellent way to prove that an item was bought at a certain time, but they’re not the only way.
Gather photos of your assets
Photos and videos can be a good way to identify when you owned certain assets, too. For example, is your spouse arguing that a particular jewelry piece was purchased after you were married? Find a photo of it before your marriage to prove that it was in your possession beforehand.
Agree that it’s a separate asset
In some cases, you won’t need to prove that your asset is separate because your spouse will agree with you. For instance, a major property owned before marriage or a vehicle in your name could clearly be a piece of separate property that neither of you feels the need to argue over.
Once you determine which property is separate and which is shared, it will be easier to separate them. If you cannot agree on certain pieces, consider negotiating or trying mediation to resolve your conflicts. If that doesn’t work, then going to court and having a judge determine who an asset belongs to may be beneficial.