As a newlywed, you likely were given gifts to start off your married life. Perhaps you eventually bought a home with your spouse. It is also likely that you made some major purchases while married, for example, new automobiles, electronics and furniture. So, what happens to all these assets if you and your spouse decide to divorce?
Equitable distribution in Indiana
A handful of states in the United States follow “community property” laws when it comes to property division in a divorce, meaning marital assets are split 50-50. Indiana, like the majority of states in the United States, does not follow community property laws in a divorce. Instead, marital property will be divided per laws of “equitable distribution.”
Specifically, Indiana Code states that courts must divide property in a “just and reasonable” manner. While this may lead to a roughly 50-50 split and there is a legal presumption that an even split is just and reasonable, it is possible that one spouse may receive a greater share of the marital estate.
Property division factors
You can rebut the presumption that a 50-50 split is equitable and instead you should receive a greater share of the marital estate by providing evidence regarding the following factors.
- What you and your ex each contributed toward the acquisition of the property
- Whether the property was acquired prior to marriage or as an inheritance or gift
- Your economic circumstances and those of your ex
- Whether it is desirable for the spouse with child custody to remain in the family home
- Whether you or your ex wasted or disposed of marital assets
- You and your ex’s earning abilities following the divorce as they relate to the division of assets
In the end, it is important that the result of the property division process is fair to all involved. While this may mean that each side makes some concessions, if you concentrate on what is just and equitable, you can determine whether a 50-50 split is right or whether you want to rebut that presumption and argue for an uneven split.