By Chris Kramer
Property division in divorce is generally determined by community property or equitable distribution. Each state follows one of these two theories but the divorce laws in your state determining what is considered marital property may differ.
Community property states follow the principle that marital property should be divided equally in a divorce. Issues like financial need, ability to earn an income or fault for the divorce aren't taken into account when dividing marital property.
Not all property is considered marital property. The definition of marital property may vary from state to state, but typically, marital property includes any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Property acquired by either spouse before the marriage is usually not labeled marital property, and some property acquired during the marriage may also be excluded.
Equitable distribution laws are much more common than community property laws. Divorce courts divide property by what the court considers to be fair and reasonable. In some states, it may be possible for you and your spouse to negotiate property division and get court approval.
Equitable distribution takes into account various factors impacting the fairness of the division. The property distribution factors that are considered and given the most thought vary from state to state. The factors may even vary among courtrooms within a state.
Learn how the circumstances of your divorce will affect property distribution by speaking to a local divorce lawyer. Call 877-349-1310 or fill out a divorce case review form to start protecting your property and assets during the divorce process.
The above synopsis of property distribution is by no means all-inclusive and is not intended to provide legal advice. These laws may have changed since our last update and there may be additional laws that apply in your situation. For the latest information on these divorce laws, please contact a local divorce lawyer in your area.