Two Ways the Court Divides Property During Divorce

Personal Injury Lawyer

Splitting up with a spouse is a lot more complicated than simply moving out and on with your lives. Since you are legally married and have interests that are intertwined, a legal process is required to sever these ties before you can fully be regarded as single.

The steps required to getting a divorce may differ depending on the state in which you live. However, some elements are common across the board. One such issue is how the couple will split property between them. In most states, there are two ways that a court goes about doing it. Learn more about what this means and how it may impact you.

Community Property Split

If you live in a state that does community property split, there is a good chance that a court will divide property and assets evenly. In this type of action, property that was obtained jointly before or during the marriage is divided equally. This does not only include cash and property, but also investments and debts. For instance, if you and your spouse purchased two vehicles in the last year, and those are held jointly, each one of you may have the opportunity to keep your car if you take on the debt yourself.

Equitable Property Split

In some states, the courts look at splitting assets differently. Equitable distribution is a method used by almost half of the jurisdictions in the country. This method allows the court to decide the fairest way to divvy things up. This benefits those couples who had one spouse either unemployed to raise children or underemployed for one reason or the other. The judge takes each person’s financial and emotional contribution to the marriage into account before deciding on who gets what. Debt is divided similarly.

Premarital Property

In either situation, property and assets held by one spouse before marriage remain with that spouse. For instance, if you owned a home before you got married and you never added your spouse’s name to the deed, you will get to keep that free and clear regardless of how your combined affairs get divided. In equitable distribution states, the amount of premarital property held by one spouse or the other may sway how the judge splits the joint items. The only things obtained during a marriage that may stay with the spouse who got it was an inheritance or gifts.

Splitting things up after the end of a marriage may bring out the worst in some. It is a good idea to contact a family lawyer, like a family lawyer in Frisco, TX, as soon as you know the marriage is ending for guidance and assistance along the way.



Thanks to Scroggins Law Group for their insight into how the court divides property during a divorce.