Marital Property & Equitable Division
Posted on Mar 18, 2015 12:03pm PDT
Wondering what will happen to your property in the event of a divorce?
Concerned that you will lose out on valuable assets? The more you understand about
property division, the better you can navigate your
divorce. First, you must understand that Rhode Island is an equitable division
state. What exactly does that mean? All marital property will be split
up between spouses in a way that the court deems fair. This gives the
power to the court to determine what is “fair” or equitable.
They will decide this by reviewing factors that are intended to give a
full picture of how each spouse contributed to the marriage and what they
will need to move forward. Again, the division only has to be fair, not equal.
Marital Property vs. Separate Property
Next, you must be able to identify what is marital property (that which
will be divided) and separate property. Non-marital property is any type
of asset that belonged to a specific spouse and was kept separate from
marital assets. This my include inheritance, gifts, and other items that
the spouse did not mix with marital property. For example, if you owned
certain property before your marriage and did not commingle it with marital
assets, you may be able to keep it out of the division process. However,
if the court sees it fit, they may divide separate assets as well.
Anything either spouse acquires or earns during the marriage will be considered
marital property. This may include retirement benefits, wages, debts,
investments, and businesses. Even if you obtained certain property prior
to marriage, if it increased in value due to the contributions of the
marriage, that increase or gain in capital may be viewed as marital property.
Factors the Court Will Consider
When determining how marital property will be divided the court will look at:
- The age and health of each spouse
- How long the spouses were married
- Each spouse’s financial and general contributions
- The current income and earning potential of each spouse
- If there are children, which parent is the custodial parent
- Debts accumulated by either spouse
- Any other factors that impacted property and assets
Have more questions about property division? Concerned about how equitable
division will impact your case? Now is the time to
call on a Rhode Island divorce attorney who can review your case. Reach out to Steven G. Wright, Attorney at Law
for trusted counsel!