Equitable Division of Marital Property
Marital Property includes all the property to which the husband and/or the wife have an equitable interest in, regardless of when or how they acquired that interest.
Examples of Marital Property
1. The Marital Home
2. The Automobiles (despite whose name is on the title)
3. Bank Accounts (despite who is the legal holder of the account)
4. Summer Homes (even if inherited)
5. Settled Claims from Previous Lawsuits
Factors To Be Considered By the Court in Equitable Division
A. Mandatory Factors
1. The length of the marriage
2. The conduct of the parties during the marriage
3. The age of the parties
4. The health of the parties
5. The station of the parties
6. The occupation of the parties
7. The amount and sources of their income
8. The vocational skills of the parties
9. The employability of the parties
10. The respective estates of the parties
11. The liabilities and needs of the parties
12. The opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income.
B. Discretionary Factors – Court may consider these.
1. The contribution of each of the parties in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation in value of their respective estates.
2. The contribution of each of the parties as a homemaker to the family unit.
3. The needs of dependent children.
Additional Notes About Equitable Division
Contributions from either party are considered equal even if one did not work at all. Domestic responsibilities are considered just as much as fiduciary.
Spouses are entitled to the standard of living afforded to them during marriage after the termination of the marriage.
Judges typically look for any reason not to split the assets 50-50 between the parties.