Owning property apart from your spouse may come into play should you decide to divorce. Anything you acquired before your wedding that remains in your name alone is separate property under the law.
When you divorce, the judge will divide property based on a standard of equitability. This allows the court to split the property in a fair manner. Understanding this is important, as is finding out the role your separate property may play in the process.
What factors does the court consider?
A judge who winds up splitting property wants the whole picture of your marriage, not only the financial aspects. The law allows the court to weigh what is fair for both parties when deciding the division of assets and debt. The following issues will play a factor in a judge’s decision:
- The emotional supportiveness of each spouse toward the other
- The domestic role played by each spouse, i.e., did one do more of the child-rearing
- The financial contribution of each spouse, if applicable
- The contributing factors that led to the divorce
- The support a stay-at-home spouse provided
How does a judge handle separate property?
The assets you owned before marriage tend to remain yours after divorce. Judges cannot dip into the separate property when dividing things, but you may receive less of the marital property. Consider a scenario in which you have a substantial amount of individual property. After the judge looks at the marital property landscape, he or she may give you less of those joint assets because of your separate property.
Since financial matters are crucial to moving ahead as an unmarried person, you may want to examine the possible ways the court may split up your money. Taking all of the factors into account may help you compromise in ways that let you and your spouse come out of the divorce positively.