Michelle Buonincontri lost about $1,000,000 of her retirement savings because she did not understand the difference between separate property and what became marital property. She used the home that was originally her own home to help an ailing parent. However, when it came time to divorce, that entire home, notwithstanding how it was utilized to finance her parents medical needs, was considered marital property and her husband was entitled to his equitable share of same. Once again this drives home the importance of not only understanding the difference between separate property and marital property and commingling what may have been separate into marital (that can occur consciously or not) but the need for either a Prenuptial Agreement or an Agreement that specifies with respect to certain items that you do not ever want to become marital, such as business assets as well as private or separate property that was accrued prior to the marriage.
Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Market Watch. Selected picture courtesy of Michelle Buonincontri.