Can A Spouse Take Everything In A Divorce?
You probably never considered if you lived in a community property state or terminology like equitable distribution as a newlywed. When a marriage ends in divorce, however, it often (and unhappily) requires painful decisions and debates, particularly those on the equitable allocation of property acquired during the marriage.
A couple can work together to decide how property, debt and assets can be divided in an ideal position. If this is not possible because of a dispute or the complex question about property ownership or value, both spouses can be obliged to hire attorneys to negotiate for themselves (property owned jointly by the couple).
Typically there are three factors to decide how the property is divided: the type of divorce you want, which type of property you own, and the country where you now reside.
The Different Types of Divorce
- Uncontested Divorce
Although most people do not have the opportunity to consider which form of divorce they want, there are possibilities for those who are prepared to collaborate.
In an uncontested divorce, for example, both parties agree on all conditions of the divorce and file the paperwork with the court. In this case, there is usually no official trial. An uncontested divorce can be significantly less expensive than a disputed divorce, saving you time, money, and legal bills while also preventing you from having to deal with your spouse for a long period.
- Contested Divorce
When we think of divorce, we automatically think of contested divorces. These are cases when there is a great deal of debate about important issues including property, children, and spousal maintenance. Each spouse is represented by a counsel, and the case is overseen by a judge until it is resolved. This form of divorce can be lengthy, expensive, and contentious.
Other sorts of divorce are in the middle of the spectrum. Without incurring the entire expense of a trial, the couple can be independently represented by counsel through mediation, arbitration, or collaborative solutions.
The best option for any relationship is determined by the extent of dispute between the spouses and their willingness to compromise.
What Type of Property you Own
During a divorce, property division is a major concern. “Who gets the house?” is one of the most frequently asked questions.
The division of your property is frequently dictated by state law. If you live in a separate property state or a community property state, your options are as follows:
- Separate property is property that only one spouse owns, such as something you held before you married, gifts or inheritances given to you personally, or the proceeds of a pension that vested before the marriage.
- Community property is all you earned or purchased during your marriage (e.g., the money from your job that you placed into a joint checking account and used to pay bills or debts during your marriage). Property purchased with a combination of separate and community finances, such as a house, is often referred to as community property.
Your current state of residence
Courses divide property by one of two means: community ownership or fair distribution. The debts are broken down in the same way. This is how property is divided according to your place of residence:
- State laws governing community property: In some states, all married property is classed as either community or separate property. When you are divorced, communal property is usually divided evenly between the spouses, whereas separate property is kept by each spouse.
- Equitable distribution: Assets and incomes gained during marriages are distributed equitably (fairly) but not necessarily equally in all other states. To make the settlement equitable to both spouses, several of these states may require one party to use separate property.
By Azwatchdog – Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5816262
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