When couples divorce, most of the things that they owe together are subject to division. But exactly how do you divide these assets?
If you think that things should be a 50-50 split, you are correct — as far as that is the court’s presumption. However, that is usually just a starting point. You do not typically have to divide everything equally, and the way you do it could have consequences.
Equitable, not equal
The idea that each person gets half is so familiar that you might think that it is the general rule. However, the court has to take a large number of factors into account when determining who gets how much:
- Each person’s contribution to your marriage
- How long have you been married
- How much earning capacity each of you has
That is far from a complete list. You should also note that alimony is not one of the factors in asset division. Instead, the way you divide your assets could have a bearing on whether alimony is a factor in your divorce.
Consequences of asset division
One of the potential consequences of asset division is that it could affect alimony. For example, one of the things that the court might consider is the ability of the assets you receive to generate income.
If, for example, you had a small business that you wanted to keep, that might be an asset that generates income. The court would probably weigh that factor when determining alimony.
The courts have a great deal of freedom when it comes to considering factors that could make your divorce more equitable. Exactly what the judge could consider in your case would depend on your situation and the items you or your spouse choose to present to the court.