How Are Assets Distributed in a Divorce?
When you’re in the process of a divorce, it can be hard to see clearly enough to focus on “fair.” That’s why divorce laws heavily dictate marital property division, decreeing how assets are divided.
Much of this depends on the representation you have and their familiarity with the law in your area. If you’re in Melbourne, you need family lawyers in Melbourne to help ensure your rights are protected, and you’re not saddled with unfair debt or loss of assets.
Let’s take a look at the legal distribution of assets in a divorce to help you know what to expect during this time in your life.
The first place that your legal representatives will look is at your assets and debt. Anything accumulated during the marriage is considered communal property. This means they’re subject to equitable division.
You can see this is why it’s vital to clearly divide the property into marital and non-marital debts and assets. Marital property is equitably distributable; non-marital property falls into a different category.
Aside from custodial issues, real estate is often one of the most heavily disputed. Typically, if there are children, the spouse who takes primary care of the children will stay in the home to avoid adding extra stress on the little ones.
When there aren’t children involved, the partner whose name is on the lease or mortgage is considered the rightful owner. They can ask the other person to move out.
However, if neither of you has a clearcut hold on the home, you’re both entitled to live there equally. So, the property will have to be divided by the courts in the divorce proceedings.
Until this is determined, you both have the right to stay in the home without the other person’s harassment, change of locks, etc. Unless domestic violence occurs and a restraining order is in place, neither of you can force the other to leave.
So what happens to the assets and debts that you and your spouse chose to keep separate while you were married? When they’re clearly owned by one party, they become non-marital property. These assets or debts are not distributed; they are legally given to the person with the rightful ownership.
Examples of non-marital property include assets like a pension that was earned before the marriage, inheritances, awards from injuries, businesses owned and operated by one partner, and real estate in individual names.
Any property purchased with evidence of community funds becomes marital property and, once again, becomes distributed by the courts.
Legal Advice is Vital
When it comes to the distribution of debts and assets, you need to have reputable and knowledgeable legal help. Otherwise, you could end up with an unfair portion and financial obligations that aren’t yours.
Because it’s not uncommon for people going through a divorce to be stressed and unable to think clearly, your legal representative is your voice of reason. If you can’t afford legal help, you may be eligible for financial assistance. Don’t go into the courtroom unrepresented if you have marital assets on the line.