One of the most critical aspects of a divorce case is the division of property. In Indiana, property is divided using the principle of equitable distribution, which means that marital property is divided in a manner that is fair and reasonable to both parties based on an evaluation of their needs, income, and earning potential.
That means your property will not be divided equally—it will be divided equitably, i.e. in a way that has an equal impact on both parties.
Given that property division is based on the needs of both parties, the role of a divorce lawyer is more vital in Indiana than in a 50/50 divorce state. You’ll need a representative who will advocate for your needs based on your projected lifetime income, especially as there are rules and considerations regarding your future that only a lawyer would understand.
At Biesecker Dutkanych & Macer, LLC, our Evansville property division attorneys are experienced with addressing these exact issues. We’ll fight to protect your interests in ways you didn’t realize were necessary. To learn your options, speak with us in a free consultation as soon as possible: (812) 496-3071.
Determining Marital vs. Separate Property in Indiana
The first step in dividing property is categorizing all marital property. Marital property includes any assets or debts acquired during the marriage, including real estate, investments, retirement accounts, and even debts. Separate property, on the other hand, includes property acquired before the marriage, through inheritance or gifts, and is typically not subject to division.
Some common types of property include:
- Real property, such as a house, land, or a building;
- Personal property, such as furniture, vehicles, or bank accounts;
- Intellectual property, such as patents, copyrights, or trademarks;
- Income and earnings, such as pensions, wages, and bonuses.
Here’s another reason an experienced Indiana divorce lawyer can help you: we can assist you in identifying and valuing all of your assets and debts. Accurately identifying and valuing property can be complex, particularly for high-net-worth individuals with complex financial portfolios.
Property Division in a Divorce
When a couple decides to end their marriage, one of the most difficult decisions they must make is how to divide their property. In Indiana, property is divided according to the property regime chosen by the couple.
The options are:
- Commingled property regime
- Separate property regime
- Equitable property regime
The choice will depend on the couple's wishes and the nature of their property. For example, if one spouse earned all the income and the other did not work during the marriage, it would be unfair to force the non-working spouse to leave with nothing. In this case, the couple would choose a separate property regime, which allows them to decide how to divide their property.
Factors a Court Will Consider in Property Division
Once all property has been identified and valued, we can begin to negotiate a property settlement agreement. A property settlement agreement outlines how the marital property will be divided between the parties, including any real estate, personal property, or financial assets. In some cases, property division negotiations may not result in a settlement agreement. If this happens, we may need to go to court, where a judge will make the final decision on how the marital property will be divided.
When dividing property, a court will consider the following factors:
- The duration of the marriage
- The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of property
- The value of the property
- Whether the property is separate property or marital property
- Whether the property can be divided without material injury to either spouse
- Any other factors necessary to make a just and equitable division
In these cases, it is crucial to work with a skilled trial lawyer who can advocate for your interests and protect your rights.
Why Choose Our Evansville Property Division Lawyers
Here are the benefits of hiring a property division lawyer:
- Expert in Family Law: Our property division lawyer specializes in family law and has extensive knowledge of the relevant statutes and case precedents. They provide accurate advice and guide you through the legal process.
- Impartial Assessment: Emotions can cloud judgment during a divorce or separation. Our marital property lawyer offers an objective perspective and assesses your situation impartially. They analyze your assets, debts, and finances to develop a fair division plan.
- Rights and Interest Protection: We'll advocate for your rights and ensures a fair share of marital assets. Our attorneys will safeguard your interests, especially when complex or high-value assets are involved.
- Skilled Negotiation: Many property division cases can be resolved through negotiation or mediation. Our property division lawyer represents you, using their negotiation skills to secure a favorable settlement while considering your needs and priorities.
- Local Law Knowledge: Property division laws vary between jurisdictions. We are familiar with local laws provide relevant advice and ensure compliance with legal requirements.
- Document Management: Property division involves extensive documentation and paperwork. We'll assist in gathering and organizing necessary documents, saving you time and reducing the risk of errors.
- Litigation Representation: If disputes require court intervention, your attorney provides strong representation. They present your case effectively, gather evidence, and protect your rights for a fair outcome.
- Peace of Mind: Dealing with property division can be emotionally challenging. Hiring a property division attorney reduces stress by taking on legal responsibilities, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your life.
Contact Our Property Division Attorney
Whether you own a business, real estate, or other assets, you need to make sure you are protected. We can help you determine what belongs to you and how to get it. We can also help you determine what belongs to your spouse and how to get them to sign it over. If you are facing a divorce in Indiana and need assistance with property division, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Indiana divorce lawyers.
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