One of the most common topics for dispute in an Indiana divorce is how property will be divided. People who owned a home or homes; had joint bank accounts; accrued investments; had retirement accounts; had collectibles and more will want to walk away from the marriage with what they believe is a fair split.
In the Hoosier State, the courts strive to divide marital property equally. However, there are instances when an equal share is not considered just and reasonable. People who are in a dispute over property division should understand this aspect of the law.
Marital property might not be shared equally
From the outset of a case, the court will function under the presumption that equally dividing marital property will be the fairest result. Still, if a person wants to show that the property should not be equally divided, they can try to do so. Providing evidence to rebut the presumption is key.
The party making this claim must show that equal division is not just and reasonable. For example, if they prove that the contributions made by each spouse to the property’s acquisition show that dividing it in half is unfair, it does not necessarily need to be awarded equally. Also, the property could have been acquired prior to the marriage or received as a gift or part of an inheritance.
The court can also assess the economic situation when the property is to be divided. A family home could be awarded to the person who has been given custody of the children to maintain continuity and a stable environment for the kids. The parties’ behavior during the marriage can be considered. Finally, their earnings at the time of the divorce and their potential for earnings can be gauged.
Property division can be contentious, so understanding the law is crucial
While other areas of family law, such as child custody, child support and spousal maintenance might be at the forefront, property division can be complex and a source for discord.
This is especially true in high-asset cases. Having caring, accessible and attentive assistance can make a significant difference in achieving a positive outcome. Consulting with experienced professionals is essential to be protected and get or retain as much marital property as possible.