The way that people divide their assets is a major concern in any divorce. People spend years combining their resources with a spouse’s, and they often have a hard time deciding who should keep which assets.
Someone’s future financial stability will depend on the terms that they negotiate during property division proceedings. Ultimately, most couples will need to settle some disagreements about property division as they prepare for divorce.
Occasionally, those who cannot reach agreements about sharing their resources will have to take the matter to court or litigate. Thankfully, negotiating can be easier when both spouses have realistic expectations. Is a 50/50 split of marital property the standard in an Indiana divorce?
Indiana is not a community property state
When people talk about an equal or 50/50 division of marital assets, that scenario typically involves community property laws. Certain states, like Arizona, require an even split of marital property when people divorce.
Many other states, including Indiana, have a different approach to property division. Specifically, the law requires an equitable or fair division of marital property. A judge will need to review a comprehensive inventory of marital property and debts in the event of a litigated divorce. They will use the information about the marital estate, combined with what they know about the marriage and the spouses, to reach a fair and just decision about dividing property and debts.
Judges have the authority to order the division of individual assets, such as financial accounts. They can also instruct spouses to sell assets and split the proceeds. Often, marital debts will factor into how judges divide assets, as debts can help offset the value of marital property.
Frequently, property division decisions do not result in an even split because both spouses will have very different incomes and personal holdings. Those who feel very strongly about sharing assets in a particular manner might benefit from trying to settle property division matters amicably outside of court whenever possible.
Learning the basic rules that apply to Indiana divorces may help people feel more confident as they begin negotiating or setting goals for their divorces.