When the court grants a divorce, property division occurs between spouses. The division is determined with the help of the Equitable Distribution Law. The spouses are asked about their income and debts during the divorce trial. Consult a divorce lawyer Appleton to get legal assistance after your marriage separation.
Determination of distribution
The division or distribution of assets takes place with equitable distribution. In this case, all the marital assets are divided between the spouses by the court in a fair and just manner. Equitable may not always result in an equal or 50-50 distribution of assets.
Types of property
Property concerning divorce is differentiated into two types. Marital property refers to property purchased by the couple when they were married. Marital property involves all the assets bought when the marriage is not over. Regardless of the title, any property purchased by a spouse would be divided after the divorce. The property owned individually by the spouses before their wedding is known as “separate property.” This can be a gift given to the spouse or another personal asset. The only marital property gets divided after a divorce.
Conversion of separate property into marital property
Separate property can be converted into marital property if used to purchase assets while the marriage is active. If the money owned by a spouse before marriage is used to purchase assets during the marriage, the purchase would be considered a part of marital property. It would be subject to division after divorce.
The rise in the value of the separate property and its consequences
If the value of separate property owned by a spouse rises, the property would still be considered separate and would not be subjected to division. However, in some instances, the rise in the value of the separate property is due to the help of another spouse. In that case, the property would be considered marital and would be subjected to the division after divorce.
Elements influencing the equitable distribution
- The court considers the following factors before the division of marital property after divorce:
- Individual income and assets owned by the spouses during the marriage
- Duration or length of the marriage
- The couple’s age and health condition
- Benefits from a pension
- Inheritance lost by one of them or both.
- Spouse’s role in the relationship
- In the case of children, it is also considered whether there is a need for a house or other marital assets during their growing years.
Responsibility for debts
The court or agreement of divorce determines the responsibility for debts. If you are a co-signer of debt, you will be held accountable by the debtor if your ex-spouse fails to pay the debt.