Equitable Distribution of Assets & Debts
How are assets divided in an Indianapolis divorce?
When dividing assets and debts during a divorce, Indiana state law applies the principle of equitable distribution. Equitable distribution does not mean equal distribution. It means that the court will rule in favor of an arrangement that is fair in providing each spouse with a share of the marital estate.
In regards to property division, a family law judge will consider the following factors:
- Each party's contributions to the marital estate, both in terms of income and in terms of services rendered as a homemaker
- The economic resources that each party possessed prior to the marriage
- What assets either party may have received through inheritance or gift during the marriage
- Which party will receive child custody
- The actions of each spouse in respect to the marital estate during the marriage, such as gambling or spendthrift behavior
- Each spouse's earning capacity
- Whether either party will be receiving spousal maintenance
If you and your spouse signed a prenuptial agreement prior to entering the marriage, the terms of this agreement may additionally influence the outcome of asset division proceedings.
Frequently Asked Questions about Equitable Division
Do you have a question about how your property may be divided in Indiana? At Bowen & Associates, LLC, we are committed to helping our clients and potential clients get all of their questions answered. To begin, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to equitable distribution. If your question has not been answered, do not hesitate to contact our firm for the legal help you need.
Can my spouse and I disregard equitable distribution laws if we agree on
the division of our property?
No. The court will only step in to distribute the property if the couple is not able to agree on how to divide the property. If, however, the couple can agree on the distribution of their entire estate, they can do so as they wish.
Is all of my property subject to equitable distribution laws?
No. Equitable distribution laws will only apply to marital property. Marital property is what has been obtained during the marriage. Marital property does not include property that has been acquired in any of the following means:
Property that is obtained before or after marriage is separate property and will not be included in the equitable distribution process.
Is a gift from my spouse during marriage considered separate property?
No. Only gifts from a third party are considered separate property. Gifts from one spouse to the other are marital property and will therefore be subject to equitable distribution.
Will the court consider my spouse's affair when dividing property?
No. In most cases, the court does not consider fault of the divorce when dividing property. The court will most likely not consider any of the following in regard to equitable distribution:
- Criminal activities
- Domestic violence
- Drug abuse
- Alcohol abuse
The spouse's behavior is relevant only if it affects the couple's finances.
Our Firm Fights for Your Right to a Fair Share
At Bowen & Associates, LLC, we are committed to protecting the personal interests of our clients, and we are ready to fight for your fair share of the marital estate. The outcome of this aspect of your divorce could determine whether you are able to move forward into a future of happiness and success or are left struggling to make ends meet.
Don't think that you only need an attorney for a high net worth divorce. Anyone can benefit from having a divorce attorney from our firm represent them in negotiations and in court. Find out more about how we can help by contacting us now for a free case evaluation.