Facts Considered When Dividing Assets

By Lauren Williams

Equitable principals that may be considered when dividing marital property include: the contribution each spouse has made during the marriage (contributions as a homemaker are often considered equally as important as earning wages if the couple has children), the value of the spouses separate property, if any, how long the marriage lasted and other economic circumstances.  Courts generally will not care or consider who is to blame for the breakup of the marriage in determining what is equitable. 

The court will seek to determine the value of marital property to be divided.  How the value is determined will depend on the type of property involved.  For example, it may not be practical to use retail value for jewelry, as neither spouse would be able to sell their jewelry for the price paid for it new in stores.  If one spouse is to buy out another for their share of a marital property such as a house, the value can be hotly contested.  In all states the judge has the power to fix a value for any marital asset if the parties cannot agree.

Many decisions of a judge in a divorce are very unlikely to be overturned by an appeals court.  This is because most of the decisions related to what a property is worth and what is fair regarding its division are questions of fact that are not subject to appeal.

Lauren Williams

About The Author

Lauren Williams is a legal writer for WomensDivorces.com and the USA Law Network.