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Settling divorce matters
Dividing Property During a Divorce

WHODecides how to
Split Property & Debts?

One of the biggest concerns that will arise during divorce proceedings is the distribution of property to each spouse. Who gets what, and how is that determined? Fortunately, the courts have devised a system for the fair and equitable distribution of property due to divorce. Assets, debts, and liabilities are all addressed by the court if a divorcing couple is unable or unwilling to come to a solution on their own.

The Best Way

If the goal is for everyone involved to be happy with the property distribution, then the best way for this to occur is if the parties come together to create a mutual agreement they can live with. This agreement would clearly state the assets that will go to each party once the divorce is finalized, as well as the debts and liabilities each party currently shares. Otherwise, the judge will be forced to make that determination for them.

Get A Lawyer

When a couple can’t come to an agreement about the distribution, the next step should include seeking the advice of a property division lawyer. They can help assist couples with finding a reasonable and mutually appealing solution to their unique situations. Alternatively, they can fight for their client’s rights to receive their fair share of the property the couple shared during the marriage that a spouse may be hiding.

Some Basic Rules

Some states are community property states. This means that all property collected during the marriage is either communal or separate. Separate property is kept by the party that purchased or received it. This means anything purchased or received prior to the marriage becomes the sole property of the one who bought it or had it given to them as a gift. Communal property acquired during the marriage is divided evenly between the parties.

Other states follow equitable distribution laws. Ultimately, the judge is the one deciding who gets what. While this can mean that the judge splits everything evenly, more often than not it is not so simple. The judge must determine what is fair based on a variety of factors, including earning power of each of the spouses, who will have primary custody of the kids, and a host of other considerations.