Married couples often have questions about property division during divorce. They want to know who will get the home, car, cash, and other assets and how difficult the property division process will be. A divorce lawyer can provide answers specific to the personal situation of the couple but there are several general guidelines that provide a starting point. Knowing that an expert divorce lawyer can help you sort out how property gets divided during the divorce process is the first step to getting what you deserve! Our team even offers 100% free consultations to make sure you understand your rights.
Property Division During Divorce – Expert Help!
A professional divorce lawyer helps a client to determine which assets are nonmarital property and streamlines the process of dividing marital property in divorce. Nonmarital property is any asset brought into the marriage or inherited by one party. Marital property is nearly everything the couple acquired after the marriage. However, there are gray areas and exceptions with both classifications so it helps to have legal assistance.
The easiest way that a couple can approach property division during divorce is to agree on how to divide the property. Unfortunately, many couples cannot do this so the case lands in court. In community property states, marital property is classified as separate or community property. Separate property is retained by its owner and community property is evenly divided.
Equitable Property Division Rules
In the majority of states, equitable distribution laws apply to marital property in divorce. Rather than splitting the property evenly, a judge determines a fair division. This may result in the higher wage earner receiving a larger share of the property. If comingled funds are used to purchase property, the items will probably be classified as community property. Therefore, if a spouse wants to keep separate property such as inheritance money separate, he or she should not commingle it with marital property such as a joint bank account.
If one spouse purchased the marital home with separate funds and the couple has no children, this spouse may keep the home. If the couple has children, the marital home is typically awarded to the parent mainly responsible for childrearing. In other situations, the judge will base the decision on the property system of the state and other state rules.
Many couples save money for retirement and dividing these assets during divorce can be a complicated process. If the couple agrees on how the retirement accounts will be divided, this must be included in a court order that may prevent tax penalties. To prevent any mistakes from being made during the IRA, pension, or 401k and divorce distribution process, the legal assistance of an experienced family law attorney is recommended.