When you are divorcing, the law requires that you share the property that you previously owned. Both community and marital property acquired by the spouses after the wedding and before separation is subject to sharing.
The systems for distribution of property after divorce
Two primary systems are employed when distributing marital property: equitable distribution and community property. The community property requires the division of the marital property equally between spouses. The equitable Distribution of Property law awards the higher earning spouse a larger share than the one whose earnings are lower. Equitable distribution applies in cases where one of the spouses is a stay-at-home spouse.
Debt and marital property after divorce
Debts existing in marriage are also subject to division. It’s good to note that debts aren’t distributed equally. Careless debts such as those got from gambling are allocated by the court to the wrongdoer. Debts such as household debts and other general expenses are supposed to be shared evenly between you and your spouse. Student loans may be divided equally if the spouse’s career benefited the marriage.
Property settlement agreements
If you don’t want to go through the long and tedious court journey, it’s always recommended that you draft legal separation agreements. In the agreement, you should specify how you will share your property. The judge will then review the agreement to ensure equity.
Consider getting legal help
When you are planning on going through with a divorce, you should consult a divorce attorney about your marital property options. In addition to the attorney representing you in court, he/she will also help you in drafting a settlement agreement. The professional will also help you in determining the value of your property. This includes: the value of your homestead, home furnishings, professional practice and savings accounts.
The lawyer will also help you in solving issues that touch on child support, child custody, health insurance for the kids, and college education. If you don’t have a source of income, the spousal support lawyer will help you with getting a substantial amount that will support you in court.
To have an easy time when you are sharing property after divorce, it’s always wise that you arm yourself with a family lawyer. If you own any property before marriage, protect them using a prenup. This is a document that lists all the property that you own and shouldn’t be shared when you divorce.