Property Division in a Divorce

Indianapolis Property Division Attorneys

Marital Property & Separate Property in an Indiana Divorce

Law Offices of Eugene Mogilevsky, an established family law firm in Indiana. Founded in 2014, we have built a solid reputation through years of experience and a steadfast commitment to assisting our clients across a wide spectrum of legal issues. Our primary focus is on helping you navigate the complexities of property division during a divorce or separation. With our extensive knowledge and expertise, we aim to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of assets. Trust us to protect your interests and secure your financial future.

Have questions? Begin a consultation with a qualified property division lawyer in Indianapolis at Law Offices of Eugene Mogilevsky. Contact us online or dial (317) 743-7958 as soon as possible.

Marital Property & Separate Property in an Indiana Divorce

The first step in property division is to determine what type of property each asset (or debt) is. Does it belong to a spouse individually or does it belong jointly to the marriage? The former is referred to as separate property and the latter is termed marital property.

This distinction will be crucial, because spouses keep all of their separate property, while still receiving an equitable share of the marital property. However, spouses need to be aware that the legal paraments on what is considered separate property is tighter than may be commonly realized.

To be separate property, the spouse must have owned the asset in question prior to the marriage or received it as a gift (i.e., an inheritance) after the marriage. 

This narrow definition reveals just how much isn’t considered separate property. A spouse’s 401(k) at work is not separate property, even if their name is the only one on it. The business a spouse began during a marriage is not separate property, even if one spouse did all the work. The only issue that matters is when ownership of the asset began—before or after the wedding date.

Even assets owned prior to the marriage may not be entirely separate property. The real estate or stock portfolio that appreciated in value after the wedding may be partly separate and partly marital property. The inheritance that was put into a joint checking account or joint stock portfolio might have transformed into marital property though that act.

All of which is to say that, while every marriage is different, most property in a divorce will be classified as marital. 

How Marital Property Is Distributed

The state of Indiana uses the principle of equitable distribution in dividing up marital property. This does not mean that marital assets must be evenly divided on 50/50 basis. It’s possible that may be the outcome. It may even be the starting point for discussions. But it is not legally necessary that a settlement be equal—only that it be equitable. The latter term is more intangible, subject to discretion on the part of a judge in the event a divorce case goes to litigation.

Judges can consider a wide range of factors that can impact equitability. If there is a circumstance where one spouse owned an abnormally large amount of separate property, it’s possible that the other spouse may get a higher than normal share of the marital property. A child custody agreement that determines where children will live may have ripple effects into the property division by determining who gets the house. If one spouse acted irresponsibly and wasted assets, that could have an impact on the final settlement.

All of these and more are possible issues that can affect property division. Spouses need to know that their attorney is on top of all the details and has their back in negotiations and—if necessary—in court. 

For experienced guidance in your dissolution of marriage, speak with a seasoned Indianapolis property division attorney from Law Offices of Eugene Mogilevsky. Call us at (317) 743-7958 or complete our online form.

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