During the marriage, parties acquire assets and liabilities. "Equitable division" refers to the determination of which party will take which property and pay which debt. The term "equitable" refers to a fair solution based on the facts and circumstances of each case.
Any property or debt acquired during the marriage, except by inheritance or gift to one party alone, is subject to equitable division. "Title" or the name in which property is being held is generally irrelevant. Who paid which debt is usually immaterial as well.
Money, Investments, Pensions
Retirement plans, IRAs, 401Ks, real estate, cars, furniture and dishes are all subject to equitable division. Unless one party owned the property alone prior to the marriage, it is subject to division. The same is true for mortgages, car notes, credit cards and any other outstanding obligation.
Debts & Financial Obligations
Obligations to third parties, such as banks and credit card companies, are not effected by the divorce. As a result, it is possible that you may owe the credit card company for a debt even though the Court has ordered your ex-spouse to be responsible for that debt. It is always best to have your ex-spouse refinance or payoff a debt as quickly as possible to protect yourself.
For assistance in property division issues please contact our office to schedule an appointment.