Fair Division of Marital Assets
In a divorce proceeding, all marital property goes into the marital pot for division, whether it was owned by either spouse before the marriage, acquired by either spouse after the marriage and before final separation of the parties, or acquired by their joint efforts. An equal division of marital property is presumed to be just and reasonable, but this presumption may be rebutted if a party presents evidence regarding the following factors:
- Each spouse's contribution to the acquisition of property;
- Acquisition of property through gift or inheritance prior to the marriage;
- The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time of disposition;
- Each spouse's dissipation or disposition of property during the marriage; and
- Each spouse's earning ability.
Purdue students should be aware that the increased earning capacity of a spouse who has earned a degree during a marriage can be considered in regard to the division of marital property. A recent Court of Appeals decision approved awarding a spouse only 40% of the marital assets because a recently obtained Purdue pharmacology degree gave that spouse a greater future earning ability than the spouse who did not have a college degree. Further, student loans obtained during the marriage can be considered as part of the marital estate to be divided.
Retaining an experienced family law attorney such as those at Vonderheide & Knecht to represent you in your divorce proceeding can help you obtain a fair division of your marital assets. We hope this information will be useful if you have to prepare for divorce. If you have any family law related questions, contact us for a consultation.