If We Get Divorced, Do We Split All of Our Property 50/50?
Property has different designations under Idaho law and divorces are generally not as simple as an even split down the middle.
Idaho Recognizes Community PropertyIdaho is among a handful of states known as community property states. Because of its designation as a community property state, many believe, in the unfortunate event they go through a divorce, all of the property they own is divided equally between them and their soon-to-be ex-spouse. While that is the case with some couples' property, it does not unequivocally apply to each and every piece of property in the marriage.
Community vs. Separate PropertyIdaho law recognizes a distinction between marital property and separate property. In a divorce action, marital property is split between the spouses while separate property goes independently to the owning spouse. Generally, any property either spouse owned before the marriage is considered separate property. Separate property also usually consists of items a spouse receives as a gift or individually inherits, even if it is during the marriage. Additionally, if a spouse acquires new property during the marriage through the proceeds of her separate property, that property likely remains her sole possession. The property that does not fall into those three separate property categories is generally considered marital property; however, property can change designations during the marriage.
The Property Division can be ComplicatedDespite the law identifying which property is marital property and which property is separate property, many divorcing couples continue to disagree as to what category property falls into. These general rules are impacted by a variety of circumstances and the issues are often not cut and dry. It is important to have an attorney that can help a divorcing spouse navigate the sometimes-complicated community property laws. A diligent lawyer can help a spouse ensure that the division of property is fair, reasonable, and in accordance with the law.