As an Indiana couple moves forward with a divorce, there are many areas that can be up for dispute. Of course, children, how they are supported, what the living arrangements are and visitation rights will take precedence. Spousal support is also a critical aspect of a case. While it might seem to be less important, property division also sparks substantial disagreement between the parties. Understanding that Indiana differs from many other states in how it assesses property in a divorce is important.
Indiana law says that there should be an equitable distribution of property. This means that when the property is divided, its split must be categorized as just and reasonable.
In general, the parties will divide their property in half. If, however, the court determines that this would be unfair, it can make a different order. For example, if marital property was capriciously wasted, if another acquired the property through an inheritance, or one spouse needs the property more than the other, this can be considered by the court.
When there is a divorce, it is also essential to know how the court will divide the property. To rebut the presumption of equitable property, the following could be asserted: the contribution of the spouse in acquiring the property; how the property was acquired (via gift of inheritance) prior to the marriage; the economic situation of the parties once the disposition is completed; the conduct of the parties during the marriage; and the earnings and ability to earn in the context of the property division.
For couples who are getting a divorce and are thinking about how the property will be divided, it is important to have a grasp of the law. While many divorces and property division disputes can be settled through negotiation, that is not always possible.