This issue can be simple or very complex. If all assets and property has been acquired during the marriage through the earnings or efforts of either party, those assets are considered “marital”. In that case, the assets and property are typically divided equally although the statute says “equitably”.
If some assets or property were owned by one person before or after the marriage, or acquired by one party by gift or inheritance during the marriage and can be separately identified, they will be considered that person’s “nonmarital” assets. Nonmarital property is usually distributed to the person who owns it but there are exceptions. To claim assets as nonmarital, a party must be able to prove the nonmarital status.
In any property division matter, all assets must be valued either by agreement or by appraisal.
The parties debts are also considered in any property division. Debts are presumed marital unless someone can show that they were incurred before the marriage or for the exclusive benefit of one of the parties.
The statutory goal is for the parties to receive an equitable property division. It does not need to be equal. If you have questions, call for a free telephone consultation at