Divorce and Marital Properties- Things to Know

Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce, Family Law

The practicalities of divorcing often take a significant toll on spouses, not just emotionally but financially. From child custody to alimony payments and property sharing, things can get very complicated. If you are unsure how your divorce proceedings will affect properties such as your home, this article is for you. Here, we cover possible complications and how to navigate the resulting issues. Continue reading to learn more.

What happens to a property after divorce?

When the court finalizes a divorce, marital properties are divided equitably between partners. This only refers to properties with joint ownership or assets bought during a marriage. Properties purchased before the marriage or gifted by someone other than your spouse do not fall under this category.

For material property sharing, the keynote here is equitable, not equal. While properties may be halved between spouses, this is not always the case. The court considers in fairness who is more financially responsible and who needs the property more.

Comparing Marital Properties to Separate Properties

In addition to the above, it is essential to note the following

  • Properties bought during a marriage are considered marital properties, irrespective of whose name is on the deed.
  • Inheritances, even when received during a marriage, do not count as marital property but as separate property.
  • If one spouse uses assets categorized as separate property (such as an inheritance) to purchase other assets during a marriage, they are considered by the court to be marital property.
  • If a spouse helps improve returns on a separate property (e.g., managing a business or estate) such that its value increases, the increment may be considered marital property.
  • Currently-held assets are not the only marital properties deemed divisible by the court. Pensions and post-retirement benefits also count as marital property and will be shared equitably.


Factors for Consideration in Marital Assets Distribution

Certain factors influence how the court decides to divide assets. For example, the length of the marriage and the effort put into it may determine how assets are split. A marriage lasting less than a few months is less likely to be favored in dividing assets. The financial state and income of both spouses also determine who needs what and more. If a spouse is in ill health, the court may be inclined to ensure they have adequate support. Seemingly minor technicalities can affect the outcome of these proceedings, and this is why spouses mustn’t keep hidden assets. The court even mandates a total declaration of assets during divorces, and your family law attorney must be aware of it all, including debts.

Who moves out of the Marital Home?

In marriages with children involved, the most likely outcome is that the court favors the person with custody to keep the marital home. However, this is not always the case, as the court could order a sale. Even if this happens, your family law attorney can delay a sale for a while, especially for a child’s schooling. A court-ordered sale also considers the mortgages and financial capabilities of both spouses. For cases of abuse, domestic violence, and safety concerns, the court may also order that one spouse gets exclusive occupancy rights.

Do you need expert consultation on your divorce? Get a free one by scheduling an appointment with the law offices of Hecht Schondorf; we are here to help you work through these difficult times.