Advocating For Your Best Interests

How do the Indiana courts split property during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2024 | Uncategorized

People thinking about the possibility of divorce in Indiana often have more questions than answers about what might happen. Most people have heard stories about terrible outcomes. People should keep in mind that how someone talks about their divorce often involves a bit of exaggeration and sometimes outright fabrication.

There are also different laws for family issues in every state, which can confuse people even more. Some spouses are able to negotiate a settlement that they both feel is fair. Other times, they may have a prenuptial agreement that outlines what should happen with their property. Absent an agreement between these spouses, property division matters may require the attention of the family courts. What usually happens to marital property if a judge divides assets in an Indiana divorce?

Indiana has an equitable distribution law

The family statutes governing property division in Indiana require a fair or equitable division of marital property. The term equitable may sound like equal, but it actually means fair. Judges don’t split assets in half. Instead, they try to find property division terms that are reasonable and appropriate given the family’s situation.

Judges consider factors including how long people stayed married and the health of both spouses. The economic and unpaid contributions of each spouse are also important considerations, as is any separate property that belongs to just one spouse. Judges have to look at the totality of the family circumstances to reach a property division settlement that is equitable according to state law.

Couples provide an inventory of their assets, including their separate property, to the courts and one another. The judge can order the division of financial assets and even the sale of certain resources so that the spouses can split the value of marital property. They can also divide debt as a way to balance the assets that they divide.

While the goal of the equitable division process is a fair outcome to the divorce, it is a highly unpredictable undertaking. Therefore, people who need certain terms, such as the retention of their retirement savings, may feel more comfortable trying to reach their own property division determination rather than litigating.