May 26, 2024
Annapolis, US 73 F

How Properties Are Divided in a Divorce

Almost half of all marriages end in divorce. Therefore, preparing for a divorce is one of the smartest things you can ever do. It is especially important to be prepared if you want to protect your assets in a divorce. The manner in which properties are divided in a divorce differs significantly from state to state and from couple to couple.

Ideally, couples would split their assets or properties halfway or between themselves as they see fit. However, the reality is that many spouses seek a pound of flesh during the divorce which can lead to long, drawn-out asset division battles. There are several factors to consider when dividing properties in a divorce including:

The Length of the Marriage

One of the most important factors to consider when dividing properties in a divorce is how long the marriage lasted. The longer the marriage, the more properties there will probably be to divide. The duration of the marriage will also help establish who owned various properties for the longest time. For example, if one spouse owned a piece of property for more than half the marriage, then they will probably get the property. The length of time is vital in determining how much money and effort went into developing a particular property. In most cases, lengthy marriages have a tougher time dividing the assets than shorter ones.

Income/Property Contribution

Over the course of a marriage, each spouse will contribute a particular number of assets. The income of each spouse will matter significantly too as it pertains to the acquisition of properties. The general rule of thumb is that a spouse should get the assets or properties they brought into the marriage. The same goes for any properties that were built or developed during the marriage.

There are three types of properties when it comes to asset division in a divorce. There are those assets that were acquired jointly also known as community assets, then there are separate properties acquired individually by a single spouse. There are also those properties that were acquired using a combination of separate and community funds. Moreover, a spouse should be able to retain the level of income they had during the marriage. The division of assets will take that into account and split assets accordingly.

Standard of Living

Everyone enjoys a particular standard of living. It will mostly depend on the level of income one has but in a marriage, a spouse may enjoy a higher standard of living than their income as the other spouse may support them. When evaluating the division of assets, the standard of living may be a crucial factor to consider. The assets will be divided in a manner that will allow the spouses to maintain the standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage.

It may require selling a property if it cannot be divided so as to ensure the proceeds can be divisible. When you sell the property will matter substantially according to, additionally, the relationship between the spouses will also determine how a property is sold. Either spouse may take a hit in their standard of living depending on the division of assets. The presence of a prenup also matters greatly in this regard.

Spousal Contribution

A marriage is supposed to be a beneficial relationship for both parties. However, that is rarely the case and it is often the case that one benefits more than the other. In some situations, a spouse may contribute greatly to the education or income-generating capacity of the other. The contribution will matter significantly when it comes to dividing properties for a divorce. If one spouse contributed greatly to the development of the other, then the division of properties may be skewed in their favor. On the other hand, it will be very difficult to quantify the contribution hence the difficulty in dividing properties in a divorce.


Another significant factor to consider when dividing assets in a divorce is the issue of child custody. Whoever gets the children will probably require more in terms of income. The parent who wins the custody battle and gets the children needs to ensure that the standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage is maintained. The division of properties will be done in a way to ensure that. The court will be largely responsible for how much a spouse is required to pay in terms of child support. The property division should seriously consider who ends up with the children as they are the most affected by the divorce.

There are many more factors to consider when deciding which spouse should receive which properties in a divorce. The above factors are the main ones that will definitely arise in an asset division battle during a divorce. Having a divorce lawyer will be extremely helpful during this tough time.

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