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Increased value of non-marital property may be divided

Sometimes even the most well-prepared individual faces a difficult divorce. Despite their best attempt to keep accurate records and separate property, some individuals experience major issues when assuming ownership over property they believed to be non-marital property. In some cases, a portion of an individual's non-marital property may be subject to division in a divorce.

Non-marital property whose value is increased through active appreciation may be subject to this division. Appreciation of property can take two forms, in active and active. The in active form of appreciation takes place when an asset increases in value with absolutely no effort. For example, bank accounts that earn interest are considered in active forms of appreciation. Assuming the bank account is completely separate and not considered marital property, the increase in its value is of no consequence.

Active forms of appreciation take place when an asset increases in value as a result of the spouse's effort. For example, if a property was purchased prior to the marriage and considered separate but required maintenance done by the other spouse, the property's appreciation would be considered active and therefore subject to division in a divorce.

While this may seem unfair to individuals looking to keep non-marital property completely separate in asset division, proving active appreciation took place at the hands of a spouse may be difficult. Property division and asset valuation are complex areas of family law. In order to effectively handle these complexities, individuals may wish to speak to an experienced divorce attorney. With their help, divorcing couples may be able to better protect their non-marital assets and draft a reasonable and fair property division agreement.

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