Divorce and Division of Property
Divorce is a difficult matter that may bring hardships, questions, and uncertainties. Among these is the question of how property will be divided upon the completion of the divorce.
Marital PropertyProperty in a divorce proceeding is considered in two categories: marital property and separate property. Marital property is property acquired during the marriage, even if the property is only in the name of one spouse. Marital property includes earnings of a spouse, lottery winnings, vested retirement accounts, and assets purchased with earnings. Marital property is what will be divided *equitably,* or fairly, among the divorcing parties. More on the division later.
Separate PropertySeparate property is property acquired before the marriage and will usually not be divided in the divorce proceeding. Additionally, some property acquired during the marriage is considered separate property, such as: gifts to only one spouse, inheritance to only one spouse, and proceeds from a worker*s compensation claim.
Property DivisionDivision of the marital property will usually take place with the parties deciding the appropriate arrangement. If the parties cannot agree, a judge will distribute the property, half to one spouse and the other half to the other. If the judge finds that such distribution would be inequitable, then the judge will consider several factors in a different distribution, including: the length of the marriage, occupations of the parties, employability of the parties, contribution of each party to the marital property, and the amount and sources of income of each party.
Division of property is just one of the many difficult situations that many are faced with in a divorce. If you are considering a divorce, contact us to help navigate you through this trying time.