Dividing up the marital property is one of the most important and sometimes most contentious aspects of any divorce. Different states have different laws that govern dividing marital property between spouses.
What is marital property?
Any property that either spouse owns is usually considered marital property in Indiana. Marital property may include property that either spouse purchased before the marriage.
How is marital property divided?
Most of the time, the court divides marital property equally between the two spouses based on the market value of the property. In cases where the court can not divide the physical property, such as a house or a car, the court may award different properties to each spouse with the goal of the total value of the property being equal. However, there are times when the court may decide to award one spouse a larger share of the marital property.
When do courts divide property unevenly?
When deciding how to divide marital property the court considers several factors:
- How much each spouse contributed to the purchase of the property
- The economic position of each spouse
- Conduct of each spouse
- Whether a spouse acquired the property before the marriage
- Which spouse has primary custody of any children
- The earning potential of each spouse
The court may sometimes forgo equal division to account for special circumstances, such as awarding the family home to the custodial parent or allowing one spouse to retain property that the spouse acquired before the marriage.