marital asset

Marital Assets: Dividing Your Property after Divorce

Talking Points

marital assetThe US Census data reveal that Maine has an above average divorce rate among all the states in the US. The rates are higher among men, as about 13% of them filed a divorce in 2009. Filing for a divorce is complicated because you have to decide on the division of your property, among other things. Both parties need to make a solid decision, so the court can handle the proceedings quickly and smoothly.

What Property can You Divide?

Law firms like WTB LAW and law information sites, such as Nolo.com and Family-law.lawyers.com, agree that you have the right to get a share of properties acquired during your marriage. These include the following:

  • Real Estate Property –residential and commercial properties, cabins, vacation houses, or any kind of real estate and vacant lands
  • Automobile – cars, boats, or any recreational vehicle
  • Household Items – furniture and appliances
  • Plans – Pension and retirement, such as Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and 401(k)
  • Bank Accounts – joint accounts, regardless of the bank
  • Financial Securities –money market accounts, bonds, and stocks

How Does the Court Divide Your Property?

The court divides your property equitably under the Equitable Distribution Law. There’s a chance to get an equal (50-50) distribution, but it’s not always the case. As you need to tell the court about your income and debts, they can use these as a basis to give more to the other party. The length of the marriage, loss of pension benefits, age, health, and children can also be a deciding factor.

What Will Happen if the Spouse is at Fault?

Property distribution will remain equitable and unaffected regardless who is at fault. There are a few instances when the court favors the other party, though. If the grounds for divorce is abuse, you’ll get a favorable share if violent felony is involved. The same goes for if the other party refuses to pay alimony or child support.

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Marital properties should have an equitable distribution, regardless of the reason. When filing a divorce, make sure that you know your share.