Pre-Marital Assets – Are They Solely Yours?

In a Rhode Island Divorce proceeding, you do not have the luxury of claiming any asset is “pre-marital” and then doing whatever you want to with it.

Until your RI Divorce Judge determines that an asset is “pre-marital”, you must presume that it falls within the power of the Rhode Island Family Court.

While you can certainly take the position that an asset is “pre-marital” in your divorce proceeding, it is not within your power to determine that an item is, in fact, “pre-marital” so that you can do whatever you like with the asset.

In fact, taking an asset and disposing of it at you see fit, especially without at least giving 50% of the value of the asset to your spouse, is likely to lead to a Motion for Willful Contempt for taking action in violation of the Automatic Orders of the Court.

Automatic Orders of the Court apply to every divorce proceeding and violation of those Orders is punishable by numerous remedies the Rhode Island Family Court Judge may avail himself or herself of, including but not limited to, incarceration at the Adult Correctional Institution, sanctions, fines, attorney’s fees awards etc. . .

Remember, each “pre-marital asset” should be considered separately and a good Rhode Island Divorce Coach / Lawyer will help you identify whether or not an asset is likely to be considered (1) entirely pre-marital, (2) partially pre-marital, or (3) not pre-marital at all because its character changed from pre-marital to marital during the course of the marriage.

Though an asset in a divorce may change character in a multitude of ways, consider the following example.

For example, Jill owns a house and its property prior to the marriage. During her marriage to Tim, Jill adds Tim’s name to the deed.  Though Jill may still argue that the house and property are still a pre-marital asset, or the value of them before she married Tim is pre-marital, her argument should fail because she changed the character of the property from “hers” to “theirs.”  By adding Tim’s name to the deed Jill actively and intentionally changed the house and its property from “pre-marital” to “marital.”

Remember that In any Rhode Island divorce, the divorce lawyers make arguments for their clients.  You have the power to make the same arguments for yourself, if you understand the arguments that you have available to you.

Do you know what arguments are available to you regarding your assets?  A Rhode Island Divorce Coaching Session may help you get a better grasp on holding on to your assets.  If you represent yourself, it may give you just the edge you need.

1 thought on “Pre-Marital Assets – Are They Solely Yours?”

  1. I recently went through a divorce in Rhode Island, and the issue of pre-marital assets was a significant point of contention. My ex-spouse and I had purchased a house together during our marriage, but I had contributed a substantial amount of money from an inheritance I received before we got married.

    During the divorce proceedings, my ex-spouse argued that since the house was purchased during our marriage, it should be considered a marital asset and divided equally between us. However, I believed that my initial contribution should be recognized and that I should be entitled to a larger portion of the house’s value.

    To support my claim, I gathered all the necessary documentation, including bank statements and legal documents related to my inheritance. I presented this evidence to my attorney, who then presented it to the court.

    The court carefully reviewed the evidence and considered Rhode Island’s laws regarding pre-marital assets. They ultimately ruled in my favor, recognizing my initial contribution as a pre-marital asset and granting me a larger portion of


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