Under Indiana law, Courts are required to consider all property brought into the marriage and acquired during the marriage as marital property, and then divide it in a fair and equitable way. This means if you obtain an inheritance, or have use of a car from a third party, it may be treated as marital property and divided.
With an inheritance, keeping separate from marital funds may be key or addressing this in a post nuptial. If you obtain a loan from a friend or parent, it must be documented in written form like a bank loan with interest, repayment terms, and actual repayment. Similarly, if a friend allows you to use a car as a marital vehicle, title should remain in this third party.
At trial, the trial court has the discretion to treat these items as marital property depending upon the facts. If this is or may be your situation, then you would do well to consider a pre-marital agreement covering this property, loan or inheritance. If you are already married, then there are a number of other matters you might want to consider implementing to protect such assets, such as formal documents or in some cases, a post-nupital agreement.
Finally, America has had a significant number of citizens receive funds transfer to invest for a parent from politically unstable places they may live. The general thinking of adult parents sending monies to their adult children is that they will invest it so they are out of harm’s way in losing it in their own country due to deflation or nationalization. However, this may look like a gift to a trial court and be divided. Again, this must be carefully handled to avoid these funds from being treated as marital property--as a gift as opposed to a loan.
If you are in a divorce proceeding, joining the third party to your suit or the third party intervening in your suit itself may be a way to effectuate the intent of the third party. Great care is urged. You should know the law and consider counsel to protect these assets so they are distributed by the intent they were provided to you with. There are a host of legal tools to do so.
We hope this blog post demonstrates for you third party property that may wind up in a divorce estate and the risk associated with it and what you may do to protect this interest as your standing as a fiduciary to the third party. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. advocates handle complex cases across the State of Indiana. This is not intended as a solicitation for legal service nor is it specific legal advice.