Why Commingling Trust Assets Can Affect Your Divorce Settlement

When a couple divorces, a spouse having a significant portion of their assets tied up in a trust can cause the other spouse to feel somehow entitled to receive more of a settlement than half the marital assets. Oftentimes the nontrust-holding spouse will argue that receiving more from the divorce settlement is the only way of equalizing the playing field, financially speaking, between the two exes.

In other cases, a nontrust-holding spouse will pull out any number of stops to find potential loopholes with the way the trust is drafted or handled that somehow allows him or her to gain access to the trust's funds. While it is possible that a greedy spouse may claim a legal right to a trust, the trust must be craftily written and strictly adhered to in order to ensure that this does not occur.

One of the most common reasons exes lay claim to trusts belonging to their spouses is because assets were pulled out during the marriage and commingled with the couple's finances. In that situation, had the trust-wielding husband or wife simply kept the funds separate from his or her spouse's, then they would have been untouchable by the other on down the line.

Trusts work very much like any other asset does in a divorce. If a spouse owned something prior to the marriage, then it will continue to only belong to the original owner. The only factor that can change this end result is if any portion of the asset comes to be shared with his or her spouse.

If your ex is laying claim to your trust on the grounds that some of the funds once contained in it were commingled with his or hers at some point, then a Naples attorney can advise you of your rights in your case.