DEFINITION of 'Marital Property'

A U.S. state-level legal distinction of a married individual's assets. Property acquired by either spouse during the course of a marriage is considered marital property. For example, an IRA in the name of an individual with a spouse that is accumulated during the course of the marriage would be considered marital property.

Also known as "community property".

BREAKING DOWN 'Marital Property'

This type of legal definition primarily exists to protect spousal rights. Generally, the spouse of the retirement account owner who resides in a community or marital property state must be the sole primary beneficiary of an investment account designated as marital property, unless the spouse provides written consent to have someone else designated as primary beneficiary of the retirement account.

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