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Divorce Property Division

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What Is Divorce Property Division?

Divorce property division refers to the way that property and money is distributed between the two parties in a divorce. Generally, property that is owned separately by one party will be retained by them at the end of the divorce process. Property that was accumulated jointly by the couple during marriage is usually considered shared property, and will likely be split 50-50 between the two parties.

Thus, the classification of separate and shared marriage property is a main consideration in most divorce cases. Each state will have different laws governing the definition of separated versus shared property.

What if There is a Dispute over the Property Division?

In most cases, a dispute over divorce property division has to do with ownership of the property item. For instance, it may be the case that one person is claiming full ownership of property that really belongs to the other party. Or, they may be claiming full ownership, when they are really only entitled to half of the property because it is considered shared property.

In such cases, the court may have to conduct additional analysis regarding the characterization of the property. They may examine documents and other evidence to determine who the original owner was, how they acquired the property, and whether the parties intended that it would be shared during the marriage. 

For instance, a car that was specifically given to only one spouse by their relative before the marriage will likely be considered as separate property. This would be even clearer if there are records such as a title deed or a written document regarding the transfer.  On the other hand, if the couple received a gift during their marriage with both of their names on the title, the gift is likely to be considered shared property. 

What Does “Concealment of Assets” Mean?

Hidden assets in a divorce case is another legal issue that can complicate a divorce lawsuit. This is where one party intentionally conceals or misrepresents the existence of property or money during the lawsuit. For instance, moving money from one bank account to another one for the purpose of deception might be considered hiding assets.

Or, simply failing to declare the existence of property during the case can also be considered a concealment of assets. This usually must be done intentionally in order for the party to be found liable. Additional legal consequences can result from concealment of assets, such as a contempt order, a monetary damages award, or in some cases, criminal consequences as well.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Divorce Property Division?

Dividing property during the divorce process usually requires the assistance of a lawyer. You may need to hire a qualified family law attorney for help with the filing and processing of a divorce lawsuit. Your lawyer will be able to provide you with legal advice on the laws in your area, as they may be different from state to state. Also, your attorney can help you obtain a fair distribution of property through the court proceeding. 

Photo of page author Peter Clarke

, LegalMatch Content Manager

Last Modified: 05-23-2018 11:40 PM PDT

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