Property & Debt Division

Marital v. Non-Marital Property

  • Marital:  The wealth or property acquired after a marriage ceremony is usually marital property.  In some cases, property acquired before marriage, but in contemplation of marriage, is also deemed to be marital property.
  • Non-Marital:   So long as it is kept separate, non-marital property may include, but is not limited to:
    • Property acquired before the marriage;
    • Property acquired by gift or inheritance during the marriage;
    • Property acquired with non-marital funds or an increase in value of non-marital property.
  • During a marriage, marital and non-marital property is often mixed, which may result in the non-marital property becoming marital.

Property & Debt Division

Generally, each spouse’s non-marital property is awarded to the spouse who it belongs to. Marital property and debt is divided “equitably” between the parties.  “Equitable” does not always mean “equal”.

The division of marital property is achieved without regard to marital misconduct.  A court may consider, but is not limited to, the following when dividing marital property:

  • Each party’s contribution
  • Any dissipation (non-marital spending) by a party
  • Value of the property assigned to each spouse
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Age, health and economic circumstances of each spouse
  • Custodial provisions for any children
  • Award of maintenance (alimony)
  • Tax consequences