In Indiana, property division during a divorce follows the principle of equitable distribution, which aims to divide marital assets and debts fairly and reasonably in the event of a litigated process. This doesn’t mean everything will be equally divided, however.
Understanding what’s included in a marital estate and how debts are treated can help individuals navigate the complexities of divorce proceedings in Indiana in informed ways. The court’s approach to property division considers specific assets and liabilities, helping to ensure that both parties leave the marriage with an equitable share.
Types of assets considered
The assets subject to property division in Indiana include tangible and intangible items owned by either spouse before the marriage, acquired by either spouse during the marriage, and all jointly acquired property. Tangible assets include real estate, vehicles, furniture, and other personal property. Intangible assets cover financial investments such as stocks, bonds, retirement accounts and pensions. Even businesses owned by one or both spouses can be considered part of the marital estate.
Additionally, any asset received as a gift or inheritance, may be subject to division. This typically occurs if it was commingled with marital assets or its value increased due to the efforts or contributions of the other spouse during the marriage.
Treatment of debts
Just as assets are divided during a divorce, debts incurred by the couple are also subject to division. This includes mortgages, car loans, credit card debts, and other liabilities accrued during the marriage. It’s important to note that creditors may still pursue both parties for jointly held debts, regardless of the divorce decree’s directives. As a result, whether they are properly transferred to one party’s name or not, how debts are allocated during divorce can have significant implications for each individual’s financial future.
Factors considered in property division
Indiana courts consider several factors when dividing property, aiming for an equitable solution. These factors include the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of property, the economic circumstances of each spouse at the time of division, the conduct of the parties during the marriage, and the earnings or earning ability of the parties.
Property division can be very complex. Working with someone who can provide legal assistance is critical to learn about what options are possible and how to protect one’s personal interests during divorce.