Going through a divorce presents couples with a unique set of challenges. After building a life together—starting a family, accumulating wealth and property—items that were once shared now require what can be a complicated division process.
A divorce settlement is rarely simple, and in Indiana dividing marital property can get hairy due to state laws—or more accurately, an absence thereof. For couples who are entering a divorce in the Hoosier State, understanding how the courts will attempt to divide property could be a good initial step.
What constitutes marital property? How is it divided?
Marital property, generally speaking, is property that a couple acquires during their marriage. Currently, several states have community property laws that determine how to divide such property during a divorce—Indiana, however, is not one of those states.
What this means is that Indiana courts attempt to distribute marital assets in a way that they deem fair. Without specific laws on the books to establish an equitable distribution, the court will consider factors such as:
- How long was the marriage?
- What was the income for each spouse during the marriage?
- Did one spouse contribute to the earning potential of the other?
- What will the economic situation be like for each spouse after the divorce?
It’s important to keep in mind that these are only a handful of factors that the court will weigh. As these situations are highly subjective, there’s not necessarily a formulaic approach to follow, and with that there can be winners and losers.
Getting some help in the fight
If you’re entering a divorce, there are no guarantees that the chips are going to fall in your favor. Without a community property statute, Indiana can be an unlevel playing field for divorce proceedings. With so many individual factors for the court to consider before landing on an equitable distribution, it’s paramount that you present a strong case.
Preparation can be crucial and thorough documentation is a must. Divorcing individuals may find it prudent to seek out the services of an experienced attorney in the area of family law. Expert legal counsel could provide helpful guidance in navigating divorce and the property division that comes with it.