PROPERTY AND DEBTS

The Court must first determine whether property is marital or non-marital property. All property owned by the parties is presumed to be marital property. However, this presumption can be rebutted by showing that property was acquired prior to the marriage, by gift, or by inheritance, in which case it will be deemed to be nonmarital property. The nonmarital property belongs to the owner. Marital property is to be divided equitably or fairly between the parties. If nonmarital property is comingled with marital property, it loses its identity and is then deemed marital property. The Court may reimburse a party for nonmarital property transmuted into marital property under special circumstances. Similarly, debts are allocated equitably or fairly amongst the parties. This is often dependent upon income and relative ability to pay.