If you are either pursuing a divorce or are thinking about filing for divorce, it is important to be forward-thinking when you are contemplating the division of your marital assets. Generally speaking, marital assets consist of any property (tangible or intangible) or financial investments that have been acquired since you and your spouse were wed.
Equitable vs. Equal Distribution
Depending upon where you live—and where you file for divorce—your case may be subjected to either an equal distribution standard or an equitable distribution standard. If your state imposes an equal distribution standard, the value of your marital assets must be split 50-50 between you and your spouse. If your state has adopted an equitable distribution standard, the value of your marital assets may be split into percentages that aren’t 50-50, provided that the ultimate split is fair.
Finding a Strategy that Makes Sense for Your Unique Goals
There are potentially endless ways to divide your marital assets, provided that the value of your division strategy meets the criteria imposed by state law. Take, for example, the question of what to do with your marital home. One of you could keep your family home while the other takes control of significant financial investments valuing roughly that of your home value. You could sell your home and split the proceeds. Or, one of you could keep the home and provide the other with alimony payments. Alimony, commonly referred to as spousal support, may be an excellent way to account for one spouse’s financial stake in the divorce, especially if the other spouse wishes to maintain ownership over much of the marital property in question.
However you choose to split your assets, you’ll want to be as forward-thinking as you possibly can be during the asset division process. As an experienced alimony lawyer – including those who practice at May Law, LLP – can confirm, individuals who are divorcing are often (understandably) ruled by their present emotions rather than by a vision for their future. As a result, they may not make the most sensible asset division choices because they may wish to dig their heels in, be overly generous, or otherwise give priority to a short-term emotional goal rather than give priority to securing a solid future. Speak with an attorney about whether including alimony terms in your property division plan will best serve your future and you’ll be more likely to make informed, grounded decisions concerning this aspect of your divorce.