Marital Assets Are Divided Equally If you and your spouse cannot agree on how to divide your assets, the judge will decide. Michigan law requires judges to divide property fairly Usually, fair means that each person gets about half of everything. The remaining 41 states are equitable distribution states. Agreements in equitable distribution States need not be equal, but they must be fair and equitable.
In equitable distribution, several factors are taken into account, including the financial situation of each spouse when dividing assets. Most states use a rule known as equitable division when judges divide marital property in divorce. Basically, this means that a couple's marital assets and debts will be distributed among them in a way that the judge deems equitable (fair) in the circumstances of the case. It doesn't necessarily mean that the property will be divided equally.
Sometimes divorcing couples sell the family home and divide the profits as dictated in their agreement. The right family law firm will provide expert legal advice on the distribution of marital assets owned by a couple. Unlike community property states, where separate property is reserved exclusively for the spouse who owns it, a judge in an equitable distribution state can order a spouse to share part of their separate assets so that the division is fair. It's also very important that you know if you reside in a community property state or an equitable distribution state.
Later, a Missouri judge would divide marital assets by equitable distribution, in a way that is considered equitably (fair) but not necessarily equal. However, under certain limited circumstances, you may be able to obtain what is known as a state-only divorce, which means that the judge will issue a judgment of divorce that legally ends your marriage, but does not include orders on the other matters of your divorce, including the distribution of your marital assets or debts. Instead of offering the property to one of the parties, the court can use a concept of equitable distribution of property and award each spouse a percentage of the total value of the sale of the property. Some divorces are complicated scenarios that are best untangled with a dispute resolution attorney experienced in property distribution laws.
In the event that one spouse receives higher-value assets, the spouse who received the higher-value assets will normally have to pay a sum of money, called “compensation” to the other party. The distinction between separate and marital assets can sometimes be complicated, such as when couples mix (mix) separate and marital funds in a bank account, or when they use money from a joint account to make improvements or mortgage payments on a home that one spouse owned before they married. However, Community Property states treat debts differently than Equal Distribution states, so be sure to consult with an experienced divorce specialist.