One of the most important aspects of divorce is dividing up the assets and debts acquired during the marriage, and that’s where the principle of equitable distribution comes in.
What is equitable distribution?
Equitable distribution is the process of fairly dividing up the assets and debts acquired during the marriage. This includes things like houses, cars, savings accounts, retirement accounts and any other property that was acquired during the marriage.
Factors that are considered when dividing assets
One of the most important factors is the length of the marriage. The court will also consider each spouse’s income, earning potential and whether one spouse helped the other spouse through school or stayed at home to care for the family.
Another important factor is whether there are any minor children involved. If there are, the court will want to make sure that both parents are able to provide for the children.
The court will also take into account any pre-existing property that each spouse brought into the marriage. This property is not subject to equitable distribution, but it can be taken into consideration when dividing up other assets. Finally, the court will consider anything else that it deems relevant to the case per family law.
How does equitable distribution work?
The first step is for each spouse to make a list of all the assets and debts that they acquired during the marriage. Next, the court will decide which spouse will get which assets and debts. The court will then try to divide the assets and debts as evenly as possible, but there are some factors that can lead to an unequal division.
For example, if one spouse has a much higher income than the other, the court may award a larger share of the assets to the lower-earning spouse. Or, if one spouse is responsible for most of the debt, the court may award a larger share of the assets to the other spouse.
Ultimately, the goal is to arrive at a fair and equitable division of the assets and debts. That doesn’t necessarily mean an equal division, but the goal is always a fair one.