Property Division

Overview

Dealing with issues of property division can add substantial stress to a divorce as possessions are tallied up and allocated, often without regard to emotional attachment.  That’s why Smith Debnam works diligently to educate clients throughout the process and be an objective advocate for their case.  Our divorce attorneys are experienced in guiding clients through these trying details to make reasonable decisions to arrive at the best outcome, considering each client’s specific circumstances.

 

Who gets to stay in the house?

Whether a spouse should remain in the house depends on a number of things. Considerations of child custody and affordability are important to evaluate. If one of the client’s goals is to remain in the house, an attorney can help to assess whether staying in the house is feasible, and if so, how to accomplish that in the best way.

Do I have to pay any debt that my spouse acquired?

Debt incurred by either spouse during the marriage for the benefit of the marriage constitutes marital debt and can be divided between the parties.

Is my inheritance subject to being divided?

A person’s inheritance is not generally subject to division unless he or she has done something with the inheritance to make it a marital asset such as purchasing real estate and titling it jointly with a spouse or by paying off family debts. Generally, an inheritance constitutes the separate property of the spouse who received it. Marital property and separate property are handled differently in a divorce.

If my bank account is just in my name, can it be divided?

If the bank account contains money that was earned during the marriage by the efforts of either spouse, then that money is subject to division. If the account holds money that was acquired prior to the marriage or by gift or inheritance during the marriage, it may be separate property and not subject to division. Property division issues can be quite complex. An attorney can give advice regarding the rights affected and obligations assumed with respect to the division of property.

What is equitable distribution?

Equitable distribution is the process by which the property and debts acquired during the course of the marriage are divided between the two parties. It is presumed that an equal division of marital property and debt is fair, but there are some factors that may warrant an unequal division in favor of one party.

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