Division of property

What does Division of property mean?

Divorce courts can utilize two methods to determine how to divide marital property during a divorce: equitable property division or community property division. 

Community Property Division

Assuming the couple does not create their own property division scheme, couples who reside in a community property state will have their property, which was obtained during the marriage, divided evenly in a 50-50 split. All other property which is determined not to be marital property will reside with the spouse who acquired it.

Currently there are eleven states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico) which divide property under the community property scheme.

Equitable Property Division

Equitable property division is much more popular than community property division and is used in the remaining forty-one states. Under this property distribution schedule, the courts will not simply split all property in half but will instead consider the financial status of each person.

Prior to making their decision the court must first identify all marital property, assign a valuation for the property, and determine how to allocate the property equitably to both spouses. Factors the courts may consider include:

  • The financial status of both individuals.
  • The income earning potential of each person.
  • Whether an agreement existed prior or during the marriage concerning property distribution.
  • The length of the marriage.
  • The age and health of each person.
  • The standard of living during the marriage.
  • The contribution of each person to the marriage.
  • The tax consequences.
  • The marital debts and obligations of each spouse to pay them.
  • Any other factors which might be relevant.

The court generally does not consider marital behavior as a factor for property distribution. The court will also be more concerned with created a fair and equitable distribution rather than one that is considered a 50/50 split.

It is illegal in any divorce to hide assets or marital property from the court or from your spouse. Talk to a lawyer if you have questions about how your marital property will be divided after your divorce.

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Divorce Law Attorneys near Ashburn VA

R and B Law Group, PLLC

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Andrews Law Firm

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