Divorce is a complex, mentally frustrating, and confusing time. Other than separating from your spouse, there are various other lengthy procedures involved. One of these is dividing your marital assets into two.
Most states divide the couple’s property not equally but equitably. Understanding property division can be complicated. You can seek consultation from Huntsville, AL, divorce lawyers to make sure that you are getting a fair share of assets.
What is equitable distribution in a divorce?
Equitable distribution in a divorce stands for the division of marital assets according to the state’s statutory guidelines to produce a fair but not necessarily equal division. This means that although you and your spouse may not have equal parts of the property, the court will consider both the party’s needs and the facts of the case before making the decision.
Whose fault it was for the end of the marriage or marital misconduct such as cheating is not considered during equitable distribution. The factors that affect the decision are as follows.
- Length of marriage
- The health of both parties
- Previous marriages
- Age of both parties
- Income of both parties
- Prenuptial agreements
- Tax implications
- If one spouse helped the other advance in their career
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Amount of non-marital assets
- Who will have custody of children
- Employability of both parties
What are separate assets, and are they included in the division process?
Marital property refers to the assets acquired by the couple during the course of the marriage. This includes houses, cars, lands, and other large properties. However, marital property does not include anything received as a gift, bequests, or things given in a written agreement.
On the other hand, separate property refers to the properties acquired by either spouse before their marriage. It also refers to the properties that are excluded from the prenuptial agreement. Other than that, any property bought during the marriage and kept separately by one spouse is also separate property. The law allows the separate property to be excluded from property division.
Can you and your spouse divide the property yourselves?
Yes. The law allows you to conduct the conference where you sit in a room with your attorneys and discuss the property division. You may also include a neutral third party (mediation) to help you reach a negotiation. The judge does not interfere in the matter if you and your spouse decide to come to an agreement together.
Who pays the debts of the marriage?
Any debt that was acquired after getting married is the responsibility of both parties. Some common debts in a marriage include credit card bills, car loans, mortgages, tax obligations, and home loans. Even if a credit card is under one spouse’s name, it was still acquired during the marriage and thus, is the responsibility of both of them.