Wife And Husband Splitting Children And House During Divorce Process.

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Will I Get to Keep My House, My Car, and My Property After My Divorce?

Woman hand signing legal divorce documents, deal or paper contract in a lawyer office with ring placed on table.

Divorce proceedings can often be complicated and emotionally charged, particularly when dividing assets such as a house, car, and other property. It’s only natural that spouses want to maintain as much of their property as possible heading into the post-divorce future. However, the law requires spouses to divide their community property fairly in their divorce, so each spouse will likely have to give up some property.

The outcome of property division depends on various factors, such as the state’s laws, the length of the marriage, and the financial contributions and resources of each spouse. In some cases, the court may consider factors such as child custody and the ability of each spouse to support themselves after the divorce.

Given the complexities of these cases and the potential for disagreements, always seek legal advice from a knowledgeable Scottsdale divorce attorney in your area. They can advocate for your rights and interests to maintain as much property as possible in your divorce.

Understanding Property Division in Divorce Cases

In a divorce case, property division refers to allocating assets acquired during the marriage between the two spouses. This can include real estate properties, cars, bank accounts, investments, and other valuable assets. The division of property aims to put the spouses in fair positions moving forward.

Equitable Distribution vs. Community Property States

Each state has its own property division laws for divorce. Some states follow equitable division principles, and others are community property states. While similar, there are some nuanced differences.

In equitable distribution states, which include most states, the court aims to divide marital property fairly and equitably. This does not necessarily mean that the division will be equal, but rather that it will be based on factors such as the length of the marriage, the financial contributions of each spouse, their earning capacities, and the needs of each party. The court will consider various factors to determine the fairest outcome in each case.

In community property states, on the other hand, each spouse is considered to have an equal ownership interest in all marital assets, regardless of individual financial contributions during the marriage. These states include Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Some community property states require a 50/50 division of property, regardless of other financial circumstances. Others, like Arizona, aim to divide community property in a fair manner. This might mean an equal division, but the law does not necessarily require it.

Community Property vs. Separate Property

It is also important to understand the distinction between community and separate property. Community property refers to assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage, regardless of whose name appears on the title or deed.

On the other hand, separate property includes assets owned by either spouse before the marriage, inheritances, gifts, or any assets explicitly designated as separate in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

In most divorce cases, community property is subject to division, while separate property usually remains with the respective owner. However, these distinctions can vary from state to state, and the court will consider the specific laws of the jurisdiction where the divorce is filed. Your divorce lawyer can ensure that your separate property is properly classified so you maintain ownership after your divorce.

Factors Affecting Property Division

Wife And Husband Splitting Children And House During Divorce Process.

Aside from the laws of each state, judges might consider different factors when determining property division. While these factors may vary, the following aspects might be considerations:

  • Length of the marriage: The duration of the marriage is often a significant factor in property division. Longer marriages generally result in a more equal distribution of assets.
  • Financial contributions: The court considers the financial contributions of each spouse during the marriage, including income earned, separate assets brought into the marriage, and efforts made to enhance the joint assets.
  • Child custody: In cases where children are involved, the court may consider the custody arrangements and each parent’s financial responsibilities when deciding property division.
  • Future earning potential: The court may also consider each spouse’s earning potential after the divorce. This is particularly relevant if one spouse sacrificed career opportunities to support the other’s professional growth during the marriage.
  • Premarital agreements: If you have a valid premarital agreement, its property division terms will come into effect in your divorce. 

Always have a skilled divorce attorney by your side who can present your case effectively and highlight factors that may favor your property rights.

Deciding Property Division Matters

While courts consider various factors, keep in mind that not every divorce case relies on the court for such determinations. You and your spouse have the opportunity to settle property division matters on your own if you can cooperate.

If you hire a skilled divorce attorney, they can review all the financial information for you and your spouse, including your:

  • Real estate 
  • Cars
  • Investments
  • Retirement accounts
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Collections
  • Business interests

Some property division cases are more complicated than others. Sometimes, one spouse gets the house, another gets the bank accounts, and each spouse keeps a car – or something along those lines. With higher and more complex assets, it might take valuations, appraisals, and expert consultations to begin the process. You might have to go through mediation to determine what property you can keep and what your spouse will get.

Consult a Divorce Lawyer Right Away

Divorce proceedings can be overwhelming, especially when dividing assets such as a house, car, and other property. Understanding the laws and regulations of your state and seeking legal advice from a knowledgeable attorney are critical steps to achieve a fair and favorable property division outcome. You should also remember that you likely have to give up some property, as you cannot keep everything in a divorce. The law protects both spouses’ rights to community property and assets.

In the midst of the emotional challenges that divorce brings, a family law attorney can provide the support and guidance you need. Contact an attorney near you to take the first step towards protecting your rights and securing a fair division of your assets.

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