Divorce, something that is never an easy thing to do. Especially if there is a bd blood among partners. So what happens when it is time to divide the property? During the process of getting divorced, certain parts of property need to be divided amongst the spouses. But how is that done? What property is divided? What are the factors? Who decides what goes to whom? Those are just some of the questions that most people ask. Here is all you need to know about them.
How is property divided after a divorce?
Once the divorce is officially granted by the court, your property gets equitably divided between you and your spouse. It’s not equally divided in all cases. The Equitable Law makes a decision about the distribution of the property. During this process, you and your spouse are supposed to let the court know everything regarding your income and debts if you have any.
What does equitable distribution mean?
Equitable distribution is, in other words, property fairly divided. The court makes a judgment according to your income and debts about how to equitably distribute the property to you and your spouse. This does not necessarily mean that the property will be divided equally in 50-50. It usually happens that way, but it doesn’t always have to be the case.
What property can be divided in the divorce?
So, what property is getting distributed? Well, first of all, there are two types: marital and separate property. Marital property refers to the property you and your spouse purchased together during your marriage. On the other hand, the property that you purchased before the marriage or was gifted to you by someone other than your spouse is referred to as separate property. The first type of property is the one that gets distributed during the divorce.
What is marital property?
As we’ve already mentioned, marital property is the property purchased during the marriage. It does not matter whose name is on the title of the property. For instance, the house you live in may only have the husband’s name written on the deed, yet the wife is still entitled to take some of the value of the house during the divorce.
What is separate property?
Separate property is the property that was already owned by you or the spouse before you got married. It can be anything. It can even be the bike you owned before you got married. In addition to that, any kind of inheritance you or your spouse get during the marriage is also considered separate property. That includes personal gifts and payments for personal injuries.
Can separate property become marital property?
There is a way for separate property to become marital property. What happens when it gets mixed with marital property. For instance, if you or your spouse purchases a house for the couple using the money you had before you got married, that money may become part of the marital property.
What happens if the value of my separate property goes up during my marriage?
In case your separate property suddenly rises in value (it can occur due to sudden changes in the market), then the rise in the value of your property still stays yours. However, if the rise in value occurred due to the help of your spouse, then the court might consider the rise in value to be part of the marital property.
Is my pension marital property?
Yes, your pension, including all of the retirement plans is a part of the marital property. All of the money gained through these plans gets divided by the court during the divorce.
You need to be aware of one thing. No matter how you ended your things with your spouse, the process of getting divorced and dividing the shared property can be very complicated and can cause disputes between the two of you. That is why you need to find a solicitor who will be able to guide you through this process and help you in taking legal action. With their expertise, legal advice, and guidance, you will be able to get through this process.
How does the court determine what is equitable?
When distributing the marital property, these are some of the factors that the court needs to consider in order to make the right decision:
- Both of your incomes and properties
- How long the marriage lasted
- The age and health of you and your spouse
- In case you have children, whether the custodial parent needs a house or other parts of the martial property while raising children
- The loss of pension benefits and inheritance
- The effort put in by the spouse in the household
Is the property distribution affected by who is at fault in the divorce?
In most cases, this doesn’t play a role. However, in the case of an abusive marriage and if the abuse is at the level of a violent felony, this can affect the case. Distribution is likely to be affected when a spouse refuses to support the family financially.
All in all, there are tons of factors to be examined and considered when it comes to the rightful distribution of property during the divorce. The court makes such a decision based on martial properties, your income, the financial situation in the family, and several other factors. The process tends to get complicated, so having a professional solicitor’s help can be of great importance.