Property Distribution

The distribution and division of property in a divorce case includes the house, the vehicles, the bank accounts and even the children. The distribution of property in a divorce case depends on a variety of factors. The majority of states in the country directs their courts to consider roughly 15 different factors when determining what is an equitable, fair, and just division of assets.

15 Considerations in Dividing Assets:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age and the physical and emotional health of the parties
  • The income brought to the marriage from each party
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • Any written agreement made between the two parties before the marriage about the distribution of property
  • The economic standing of both parties at the time of the division of property
  • The earning capacity of each party as defined by their background
  • The contribution by each party to the training, education, or earning power of the other
  • The contribution by each party to the value of the marital property
  • The tax consequences of the proposed division of property
  • The current value of the property
  • The need of a parent that has custody of a child to occupy the marital residence
  • The debts and liabilities of the parties involved
  • The need to create a trust fund for the children
  • Finally, any other factors that the court may deem relevant to the distribution of the property

Based on the factors listed above, the court is allowed to award anywhere from zero to 100 percent of an asset to the wife or the husband but the typical award is anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of an asset. There are exceptions to dividing property if the property is kept separate during the marriage.

Five Exceptions in Dividing Property:

  • Inherited property. Inherited property is property obtained through a will or through the inheritance laws of the state
  • Any property acquired prior to the marriage
  • Gifts to the wife prior to the marriage from a third party. Gifts from one spouse to another spouse are considered marital assets
  • Gifts to the husband prior to the marriage from a third party
  • An asset acquired prior to the marriage with an increase in value that is due to direct action or work by the other partner then this increase in value could be a marital asset but not the asset itself

During a divorce case the court will award the distribution of property in an equitable way for all of the property that was acquired during the marriage.

Common Assets Divided During a Divorce Case:

  • Automobiles and other vehicles.
  • Real Estate
  • Stocks, Bonds, Cash & Savings Accounts.
  • Individual Retirement Accounts, Pension Plans, 401K's and other funds set aside for retirement.
  • Business owned by one or both spouses.
  • Cash value of Life Insurance Policies.
  • Furniture and fixtures in all houses.

Liabilities and Debt that Can be Divided in a Divorce:

  • Mortgage balance on your home
  • Any debts you owe to banks, savings and loan association, or any lending institutions.
  • Car loans, school loans (if not premarital), home improvement loans, any money you borrowed during the marriage and have not paid back in full (remember, it does not make any difference who signed the loan papers).
  • Loans payable to relatives or friends.
  • Unpaid bills at the time of the hearing (department stores, credit cards, doctors, dentists, etc.)
If you need more information, consult with a Divorce Attorney, they will be able to walk you through the entire process and answer all your questions.

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