When a married couple divorces, one of the primary goals is to divide their marital assets. Because it can be a contentious process that leads to heated disputes, a seasoned family law attorney could help in potentially resolving them in an amicable manner.
A Hamilton County property division lawyer could play an important role in your separation by working to eliminate delays and help ensure you receive fair treatment during the distribution of assets and liabilities.
When it comes to property division, courts follow a legal standard known as equitable distribution. This requires the courts to ignore any fault that resulted in the divorce and divide the property in a manner that is fair. However, this does not guarantee an even split, as the courts could determine that it is equitable for one spouse to take more than another. A Hamilton County attorney could provide insight into how the equitable division standard impacts property division.
It is important to remember property division is about more than splitting marital assets. The process is also intended for the division of marital debts, which might be the most litigious part of some divorces.
It is not uncommon for the courts to split marital debt evenly. However, the same rules of equitable distribution apply to debts as they do with assets. For example, the court may require one spouse to take on all debts if the spouse maintains all of the benefits stemming from the debt. This could include finding a person who is awarded a motor vehicle responsible for the entire car loan.
Not everything a married person owns is subject to property division during a divorce case. The court only divides what is known as marital property between the spouses. Marital property includes most assets acquired after the date of the marriage but prior to the finalization of the divorce. These assets include real property such as homes or land, as well as personal property such as motor vehicles or jewelry.
However, with the help of a Hamilton County property division attorney, it could be possible to identify objects as separate property and remove them from the division process.
Separate property is the real or personal property one owned prior to the marriage. However, there are some exceptions that render assets obtained during a marriage as separate property, as well. These exceptions include the proceeds of personal injury settlements, inheritance, or assets obtained through exchanging other forms of separate property.
This designation is not always clear. It is possible over time for separate assets to become marital assets. For example, one spouse who helps pay the mortgage for property that was previously owned by the other spouse could convert that separate property into a marital asset. Ultimately, the court makes that determination.
A divorce can be a life-shaping event for many people. The end result of a divorce is a legally binding order that can alter your property rights or saddle you with debts you did not incur.
Given the stakes, it is vital you have aggressive legal representation during the divorce process. Call a Hamilton County property division lawyer today to get started.