Getting Divorced? What to Know About Dividing Property

One of the challenging parts of a divorce is figuring out how to divide your shared assets. Here are a few things to know about this part of the divorce process. 

Community Property Division Laws May Be a Factor

It's very important to look into your state's laws regarding property division. Some states have community property division laws, which means that all property acquired during the marriage should be split between both partners as equally as possible. However, it is not usually as simple as dividing the money in a shared bank account. Some property has equity, retirement accounts with earnings during the marriage, and other complicated financial items that don't have a simple dollar value. 

Community Property States Can Lead to Predictable Outcomes

If you live in a space that has community property laws, know that it is designed to protect both spouses. This is more of an issue when one partner is the one that works while the other is a stay-at-home parent. The community property laws put both partners on an equal playing field in a divorce, since the amount of income they contributed to a marriage will not have an impact on how much they receive. 

Assets And Debts May Be Split Equally

Dividing property is not just about dividing the assets that you have with your partner. Acquired debts during the marriage will also be divided. For example, In the situation where one spouse is not working, they may be incurring debt due to going back to school. Even though the degree would benefit one person, the debt would be considered a shared asset as part of the marriage and may be split equally. The same can be said of credit card debt, remaining mortgage balances, and vehicle loans.

Marital Waste May Be A Factor In Property Division

It is possible that a partner is responsible for marital waste, and that state laws can impact how much they receive in a divorce as a result. A good example is if someone used marital income to spend on another person they are having an affair with, or if someone had a gambling problem and spent marital assets without the other partner's permission. A judge can then make adjustments to the property division based on how big of an impact marital waste had on a marriage.

Reach out to services like Reisinger Booth & Associates for more information about dividing property.