During a divorce, you will have to separate your lives. This means dividing property that you bought together or that the court determines is marital property. The only things you can keep without having to possibly split them are those the law says are separate property. However, the rules about non-marital property can get confusing. So, to protect your property and ensure the court will not divide it as marital assets, you must understand the concepts clearly.

Forbes explains the general rule is that any asset you bought before the marriage is your property alone. However, it is possible for separate property to become marital property. In general, if you comingle your separate property, it becomes marital property. For example, if you had a savings account prior to your marriage but during the marriage you add your spouse’s name to the account, it becomes marital property.

To protect your separate property, you should make sure that you never let that property become something you and your spouse benefit from and have access to. Never use a separate financial account to buy anything for your household. Maintain good records for the property as well.

The single best way to protect your assets is a prenuptial agreement. While you can create a post-nuptial agreement, these do not always stand up in court. An agreement before the marriage is far easier to enforce. However, if you are already to the divorce portion of the relationship, this is not an option. Do keep it in mind for future relationships, though. This information is for education and is not legal advice.