When a couple gets married they agree to share everything including their property.
Unless they previously signed a prenuptial agreement, deciding, “who gets what” can be a long and lengthy legal battle.
When a couple can’t make ownership decisions, the court will make the decision…which is called the equitable distribution of property.
Since all divorce laws and proceedings vary from state to state it’s necessary to seek the advice and services of an experienced family law attorney.
Basically, the courts will look at the property you and your spouse accumulated throughout the marriage, and will seek to divide the property in a fair and equal way- or the equitable distribution of the property.
However, equitable doesn’t necessarily mean that all property is going to be split fifty/fifty. Every judge is different and so is every case.
Different states govern how property will be distributed.
Some states enforce what is known as Community Property. In these states, Community Property is separate from Equitable Distribution.
In states that enforce Community Property, Equitable Distribution rules and laws will not be followed. Under Community Property states, the property that was accumulated will be divided equally or 50/50 between both parties.
Equitable Distribution often gives about 2/3rds of the property to the spouse who earned a higher income.
It’s important to understand that there is a difference between separate and community property. For property to be considered separate it must have been owned by the spouse before the marriage.
Since these matters vary by law and might be complicated, a qualified attorney will ensure that the property is rightfully divided.