Blog

A guest post on Property Division in Divorce

Divorce Property Divisions: Who Gets What?
If you are contemplating a divorce, you likely have several questions relating to property
division, and you may wonder who gets which assets when it comes to property division
in a divorce case. The manner in which assets are divided in a divorce case depends
upon the state in which you reside.
Equitable Division of Property Standard
The vast majority of states in the United States utilize what is known as the equitable
division of property standard in divorce cases. The application of this standard directs
that property in a divorce case be divided in a fair and equitable manner, based upon
the facts and circumstances of the parties to the marriage dissolution. The division of
assets is not necessarily even, but equitable.
Community Property Standard
A minority of states utilize what is known as the community property standard when it
comes to dividing property in a divorce case. California is perhaps the best known state
that utilizes this standard. Under the community property standard, the presumption is
that assets in a divorce case will be divided evenly or equally between the parties.
Personal Injury Settlement in a Divorce Case
If you or your spouse are involved in settling a personal injury case, or have received a
personal injury settlement, you may wonder how this money will be divided in a divorce
case. The primary element of a personal injury case that might be divided in a divorce is
the part of the settlement that compensates for lost income. The lost income component
of a personal injury case could be subject to asset division in marriage dissolution
proceedings. Other components, such as compensation for medical costs, likely
wouldn’t be divisible in a divorce.
Identifying Marital Assets
Only marital assets are subject to division in a divorce case. This is the case no matter
the property division standard utilized in a particular state.
Marital assets represent that property that was accumulated during the term and course
of a your marriage. Property that you or your spouse acquired prior to the start of the
marriage are not part of the division carried out in divorce proceedings.
In addition, there can be some types of assets or property that actually are acquired
during a marriage that are not considered marital assets. The prime example of this
type of situation is property inherited by one of the spouses.
Division of Marital Debts
The same property division standard applies to a distribution of debts in a divorce case.
Debts that were acquired prior to the marriage typically are not part of the asset and
liability division undertaken in divorce proceedings. Pre-marital debts remain the
responsibility of the party that accumulated them in most situations.
Retaining a Divorce Lawyer
The first step in retaining a family lawyer Phoenix AZ trusts is scheduling what is known
as an initial consultation. During an initial consultation, you can receive an evaluation of
your case and you may ask questions about how to proceed with the divorce process.
As a general rule, a divorce attorney charges no fee for an initial consultation with a
prospective client.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from
Lorona Mead for their insight into divorce property divisions.