For a lot of couples, dividing their assets, debts and custody over various pets in the home as well as their children is stressful and confusing. This is often believed to be the most difficult part of a divorce. But before you panic about losing family heirlooms, your home, your car or custody of your favorite pet you should learn a bit about the division of marital property, and just what goes into it.
What does equitable distribution mean in a divorce case?
Equitable distribution is the process of dividing marital property and advisable property in court. If the world was perfect, you and your spouse would negotiate the division of your property without involving a judge or at the very least a lawyer from Winfrey Law Firm PLLC. However, most spouses don’t divorce if they find it easy to cooperate and coexist within a relationship together. Therefore, that means it’s probably not going to be easy to divide up your property. If you cannot come to an agreement, which is extremely frequently the case and these types of situations, the court will schedule a hearing and help you to divide your marital property.
The court will use a theory of fair distribution, and marital property includes both assets and debts. Based on the theory of fair distribution the judge will split your property 50/50, unless they split would be considered inequitable and unfair.
When a judge assesses the fairness of a split they consider a series of factors such as each spouse’s income, each spouse’s debt, property in each spouse’s name. The judge will also consider how long the marriage lasted and how old the spouse is, along with considering ways in which the spouse directly or indirectly contributed to the others educational or professional opportunities. They will also take into account the custodial parents need to occupy the marital home or other items relevant to the household, spouses physical and mental health, and tax consequences which are related to the property division.
The court does not consider child support and alimony payments when dividing property.
What is marital property and how much is it worth?
Property is divided into three categories legally, so that the court doesn’t have to guess and choose what fits to where. You have marital property such as income, assets, property, and debts that were accumulated during the course of your marriage. Marital property made include wages, pension, retirement fund, investment accounts, real estate, personal property, mortgages, car loans and credit card bills.
Separate property is completely separate from your marital property. Separate property can commingle and transform into marital property if you mix it with marital assets. If you use your inheritance to buy a jointly titled asset, it can become marital property. Typically, separate property does not get shared between the spouses, unless it’s becoming marital property.
The third type of property is divisible property, they can divide what property is of equal value between both spouses. Once you have identified the type of marital property you are dealing with, a lawyer and a court can help you to deal with it, a lawyer and a court can help you divide with the division of the marital property.
Now that you understand a bit about the division of the marital property, reach out to Winfrey Law Firm PLLC for help dividing your assets between yourself and your spouse.