Division of Property

Table of Contents

What is the Division of Property?

The division of property is the legal process of distributing property and assets between separating spouses. This includes both joint and individual property acquired during the marriage. The division of property in the context of marital separation is a complex legal process. It involves a systematic assessment and distribution of all assets and property that the couple jointly or individually acquired during the course of their marriage. 

This process is not limited to physical assets such as property or money but also includes intangible assets such as investments, pensions, and even debts. The division aims at a fair distribution to ensure that each party is left in a financially stable position post-separation. The varying laws across different states make the process even more intricate, emphasizing the importance of legal guidance.

What Property is Included in the Division?

Property is usually divided equally or equitably depending on state law. Equal means a 50/50 split, while equitable considers the length of marriage, income, debts, etc. The court’s main goal is a fair outcome for both spouses. 

The division of property during a separation includes both joint and separate property. Joint property refers to assets that were acquired during the course of the marriage by either spouse. These could include the family home, vehicles, bank accounts, stocks, retirement funds, and even debts acquired during the marriage. It is usually the case that these assets are divided equally or equitably, depending on the laws of the state.

Separate property, on the other hand, includes assets that were owned by either spouse prior to the marriage or those that were inherited individually after the marriage. This can include properties, heirlooms, or gifts that were given specifically to one spouse. In most cases, separate property is not subject to division and remains with the original owner. However, there may be exceptions to this rule if the asset increases in value during the marriage, or if it is commingled with marital property.

This distinction between joint and separate property is important as it directly affects how assets are divided during a divorce. It’s also crucial to note that the definition and rules around these categories of property can vary from one jurisdiction to another, hence it’s always advisable to seek legal counsel when going through a divorce.

How is Property Usually Divided?

The process of dividing property during a divorce varies depending on the laws of the specific state. Generally, there are two primary methods: equal division and equitable division.

  • Equal Division implies a 50/50 split of all marital property. This method is simpler and straightforward, as it involves dividing all marital assets and debts equally between the spouses, regardless of each party’s individual income, contribution, or future financial needs. It’s important to note that this method is not used in all states. 
  • Equitable division, on the other hand, aims at a fair distribution rather than an exact equal split. It takes into account a variety of factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s income and earning potential, age and health, contributions to the marriage (including homemaking and childcare), as well as the debts and liabilities of each party. This method is commonly applied in a majority of states. 

Remember, what is considered “fair” may not always be “equal”. Every situation is unique and the court’s primary goal is to ensure a fair outcome. Legal consultation is advisable for a better understanding of your specific circumstances. It’s also crucial to understand that the division applies not only to assets but also to debts.

Let Family Matters Law Group Help You with the Division of Property 

Choosing the right legal partner to navigate the complexities of property division during divorce is critical. Family Matters Law Group is your ideal choice for this delicate task. With a compassionate approach and thorough understanding of the intricacies involved, we ensure a fair and equitable division of assets that caters to your unique circumstances. Our team of experienced attorneys not only helps you understand the various facets of your situation but also provides tailored solutions that align with your needs and goals. Let Family Matters Law Group guide you through this challenging phase, securing your financial stability and future.