Appreciation of pre-marriage contribution to the IRA

Many times in dissolution of marriage, there is an IRA which was started before the marriage but which accumulated during the marriage. There is no question that the amount of the IRA at the time of the marriage is to be deemed nonmarital, but it is an error for a court to fail to consider the appreciation in that nonmarital amount during the marriage, as long as there were no active contributions to that increase in value. Participants in a divorce trial should take care to document the amount of a separate asset at the time of the marriage and to clearly show the court how that asset appreciated due to the market forces or interest their own. See Billingsley v. Billingsley, 2015-CA-01134-COA (Decided May 9, 2017)