Marital Property is property that belongs to one spouse or the other but was acquired during the marriage. In most States, property obtained during the marriage is considered marital property and has to be split during a divorce. Any property, regardless of which spouse is named as owner, that the husband or wife obtained from the date of marriage to the beginning of the divorce action is usually marital property. A house, car, IRA, bank account(s), pension, annuity, business and advanced degree (in some States) are all examples of marital property. However, an inheritance, a gift from someone other than a spouse, or compensation for personal injuries, may be deemed separate property. Often marital property is stuff that a party got during the marriage, or that is marital property because of a prenuptial agreement between the parties which lists that particular property as marital property.
Even if property was agreed by the parties to be the separate property of a particular party, or is separate property because of a rule of law, in some States, if such property was commingled into the marriage, it can be considered converted to marital property. This often happens when a other spouse engages in acts that creates appreciation in the separate property. This can take place for instance when one spouse owns a house and the other spouse spends time working on the house to repair it and those acts create an increase in the value of the house. At the very least, the non-owner spouse can argue that the appreciation in value has become part of the marital property and should be divided in a divorce.
marital property is usually divided in divorce proceedings