DIVIDING MARITAL PROPERTY

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION
…………..Division Of Marital Property

Equitable Distribution is the legal term for dividing up marital property and/or marital debt in a divorce proceeding.  Marital Assets (or debt) are any assets accumulated from the day you were married until the day you separated from your spouse.  Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean that property is divided equally. The Court (or the attorneys during settlement negotiations)marital property look at a variety of factors to determine how to divide marital property including the length of the marriage, the earning capacity of the parties, who has custody of the children, etc.  A judge is supposed to do what is equitable, or fair, in distributing the marital assets in a divorce proceeding.  If the Husband and Wife can reach an agreement as to how to divide up their assets and debts, then a marriage settlement agreement can be prepared by an attorney and a divorce can then be granted by the court.  If the parties cannot reach an agreement on their own then it may be necessary to have a trial and the court will then decide how to fairly and equitably divide the assets and debts between the parties.

Did you know that it doesn’t matter if an asset such as a house is only in the name of one of the spouses?  Do you know that it doesn’t matter if credit card debt is only in one spouse’s name?  Marital assets and marital debt are determined solely on the basis of whether or not they were accumulated during the marriage.

Valuation of property is another important step in the equitable distribution process. To see that all property is valued properly, I will often enlist financial experts including real estate appraisers, pension evaluators and other professionals to see that all marital assets are appropriately valued.

What will you be left with after a divorce?  How can you achieve a fair settlement?  Call for a free telephone consultation to discuss these issues.

For more information on assets that are often overlooked in a divorce visit my blog here.