What counts as separate property?
Separate property is not considered part of the marital estate, and thus remains with the owning spouse. Separate property generally falls under the following categories: 1) property obtained before marriage, 2) property received as a gift (so long as the gift was given to only one spouse); 3) inherited property (so long as it is inherited by only one spouse); 4) property received as part of a personal injury settlement (in some states), and 5) property earned after the marriage has ended. Keep in mind, also, that most purchases made with separate property still count as separate property, and that the appreciation of separate property during the marriage still constitutes separate property. Income earned from separate property also stays with the owning spouse.