4 Questions About Property Division During A Divorce

Are you considering a divorce? One part of the divorce negotiations you are going to have to deal with is the division of property. Here are some questions you are likely to have about this part of the divorce process.

What Is Community And Separate Property?

All property is assumed to be community property during a divorce. However, there may be property that you consider to be separate. This is due to having the property before the marriage happened, inheriting the property during the marriage, or some sort of gift that only you received. Your divorce lawyer will help prove how certain property is categorized as separate property, which does not need to be divided as part of a divorce settlement.

Will Property Division Always Be Split In Half Equally? 

Many people assume that their community property will be split as equally as possible. That is not always true since just and right division standards can be used instead of a 50/50 split. This means that different variables are considered when dividing property where more property may be given to a partner that will not be as well off after the divorce. 

For example, one spouse may have a better education than the other, or they have a better paying job that gives them more earning power. It's even possible for the one who is at fault for the divorce to get less than 50%.

Will A Spouse Have A Right To A House Acquired Before The Marriage?

There are often conflicts about what happens with a house when a couple gets divorced, which only gets more complicated when the house was purchased before the marriage. Even if the title is in one person's name, it's possible that the other spouse will be entitled to part of the home's value in a divorce. This is because they've contributed to mortgage payments, maintenance, and other costs associated with homeownership during the years. This is one part of property division that has many factors playing a role in it. 

How Are Retirement Accounts Divided?

Another complicated matter to divide is a retirement account. It often involves looking at account balances at the time the marriage took place and how much the account grew during the marriage. It is possible that your spouse will be entitled to half of the growth that took place during the marriage, which will need to be dispersed later at the time of retirement when the money can be taken out without penalties.