Property Division During a Divorce Isn’t Always Clear and Dry

Bitterness resulting from the dissolution of a marriage tends to spill over into every aspect of a divorce. Although there are couples who can fairly resolve any property division issues, child custody and support issues and alimony requests without fighting, they tend to be rare. A couple may agree on several aspects, but find one is holding them up. When the issue that can’t be resolved involves property division during a divorce, the court may become involved. It’s important to note that an equitable division of property doesn’t always mean each party will end up with 50 percent.

When determining what each spouse will receive in the divorce when it comes to the property, the court looks at numerous factors. First and foremost, they consider how much each spouse contributed to the accumulation of this property and their disposal or waste of the property. The market value of each piece of property must be determined, along with the sentimental value, and the court examines the separate property of each spouse to determine its value. Property division often comes with economic consequences, and the court takes this into consideration also.

Financial security is of concern when property is divided, and the court recognizes this. They look at the need for financial security of each spouse and also how alimony may be affected by the division of the property. In some cases, when property is awarded to a spouse, they may no longer need alimony, and this must be recognized by the court. Other factors that will be considered include how much each spouse contributed directly and indirectly to the marriage and family, such as in the raising of children and the keeping of the home. Furthermore, if one spouse contributed to financing the education of the other, this is considered in the division of property.

Another factor that comes into play is whether the asset is marital or separate property. Items accumulated during the marriage are typically considered to be marital property, although there are exceptions. As so much is involved, many prefer to seek legal guidance to ensure they are treated fairly.