One of the most significant aspects of divorce is the division of assets.
In Indiana, the division of property follows equitable distribution laws.
Taking a fair approach
Indiana follows the principle of equitable distribution, meaning that the division of marital property is fair but not necessarily equal. Marital property includes assets acquired during the marriage, such as real estate, vehicles and joint bank accounts. Separate property, on the other hand, typically remains with the spouse who owns it.
Identifying marital and separate property
Determining which assets are marital property can be a straightforward process. Generally, any property acquired during the marriage is usually marital, while assets obtained before the marriage or through inheritance are usually separate.
Valuing marital assets
Accurate valuation of marital assets is necessary for a fair division. Common assets subject to valuation include homes, investments and retirement accounts. A professional appraiser may help in assessing the value of real estate, while financial experts can help evaluate the worth of investments and retirement funds.
Indiana courts consider various factors when deciding how to distribute marital property. These factors include the length of the marriage, each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, the economic circumstances of each party, and the educational background and earning capacity of each spouse.
Including debts and liabilities
In addition to assets, debts and liabilities acquired during the marriage are also subject to equitable distribution. This includes mortgages, credit card debts and other financial obligations. The court aims to ensure a fair distribution of both assets and debts to achieve an equitable outcome.
With the national divorce rate average at 2.5 per 1,000 population in 2021, couples separating is not uncommon. Although it comes with challenges, understanding asset division is important to ensure financial security after the divorce.