Understanding How Property and Assets Are Divided in a Divorce

Division of Property and Assets in Divorce

Divorce can be quite an overwhelming process and is even more complicated due to the grueling division of property and assets in the marriage. When going through a divorce with a divorce lawyer in Rockville, MD, such as from the Law Office of Daniel Wright, you and your ex should try to be as specific as possible in identifying which marital assets you want, and be sure to consider all other factors that can affect the property division.

However, laws vary from state to state, so it is best if you read them over before doing so. Only property acquired during the marriage is subject to division in a divorce case. This means that any assets or property acquired is up for grabs. Separate property that you acquired individually before you married will remain yours.

On rare occasions, there are assets acquired during marriage that are not up for division. This includes anything inherited by one spouse or any gifts given to one individual. Unless there documented evidence that proves otherwise, property acquired during the marriage is presumed to be jointly owned.

Community property is any property owned by a husband and wife. The community property law is used only by a few states like California, Arizona, and Idaho, who stand by a strict mandate of 50/50 division of marital community property.

Equitable Division of Property

The equitable division of property is an idea that is used by the majority of states in the U.S, require that all property and assets acquired during a marriage are divided equally. This takes both separate property and marital property into consideration, as well as any circumstances surrounding them.

If one partner has significantly less separate (or, individual) property than the other, more of the marital property will be given to the partner with less separate property. Although equitable division is not always equal, it is usually considered to be the fairest way of appointing and dividing assets and property in a divorce settlement.

Personal Injury Settlement in a Divorce Case

If you or your former spouse were involved in a personal injury case before the divorce process began, the personal injury settlement may be up for division, but only if it is awarded before the divorce is made final. If you wish to divide your personal injury settlement, only certain parts of the settlement can be considered joint assets. 

For example, if you or your former spouse received compensation strictly for medical expenses, and not lost wages or pain and suffering compensation, they will not be up for the division process. Marital debt is treated much like property because all debts accumulated during the marriage are divided fairly. Any debts that existed before the marriage and were accumulated individually will usually remain the responsibility of the person that acquired them.

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