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How to determine an equitable division of property in divorce

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2022 | Divorce

When married couples end up going through a divorce in Indiana, they will need to divide all of the property that they own with their spouse, which can be a complicated process.

Under Indiana law, courts presume that the best way to divide marital assets is an equal split. However, this is a rebuttable presumption, meaning that people may be able to show why an equal division of property is not fair.

Ultimately, Indiana law calls for the property of a married couple to be divided equitably in a divorce. Equitably means fair, not necessarily equal.

Factors used to determine an equitable division of property

To determine what may be an equitable division of property, judges will need to analyze a number of different factors. These include, but are not limited to:

  • How each spouse contributed to acquiring the property. This can be more than the financial contributions made by either spouse.
  • Whether the property was acquired by a spouse prior to the marriage or through an inheritance left to only one spouse, or a gift given to only one spouse only during the marriage.
  • The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time of the divorce. This includes which spouse will have the children and the desire that the children will be able to continue to reside in the marital home.
  • Whether one spouse unnecessarily dissipated property during the marriage, which led to the couple having less overall property than they should.
  • Each spouse’s income or ability to earn income and their needs for property based on their income levels

While some divorces will end in a more or less 50-50 division of property, there are times when fairness requires a different type of division.

For instance, if only one spouse worked during the marriage, divorce can leave the non-working spouse in a very difficult financial position.

In these situations, they may need more property to compensate for that fact. Property division can be complicated and consulting with experienced attorneys is important.