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Separation Agreements and Asset Disputes

One of the most challenging aspects of a separation or divorce is determining how to distribute property between the two individuals.

Who Gets What?

Generally, courts try to distribute property equally between both parties. Equitable distribution does not mean that all the property will be split directly in half. Rather, the judge will look at a variety of factors to determine what is equitable. Settlement agreements can also effect how assets are divided.

What Is "Marital Property"?

Any item that is jointly-titled (meaning it is in the name of both people, such as a house), items that were obtained after the date of marriage (but before the date of separation). Any item that's value was increased by the spouse can also be considered marital property.

Is There A Way To Divide Up Our Property Without Getting The Courts Involved?

Yes. You both can create a property settlement agreement, which is a voluntary agreement of how to distribute property and assets. It is a legal contract, and once signed and notarized is enforceable by the court.

It is not recommended that you do this without the help of a lawyer.

What if we have any debt? Can that be divided?

Debts can be divided between spouses. How a debt is split varies for each divorce. Some of the factors that effect the division of debt are:

  • Length of the marriage
  • The basis for each debt
  • The monetary and non monetary contributions of each persons to the marriage