How Is Property Divided?

All states provide for a more-or-less equitable, but not necessarily equal, division of marital property. Marital property includes the parties' incomes, acquired during the course of the marriage. If the parties are able to come to a mutual agreement, the decision of who gets what property is, of course, up to the parties, but usually with approval by the court.

Despite lore to the contrary, most divorcing couples are able to negotiate a fair and equitable division of the property without resort to a court's decision-making process. However, for those unable to come up with a mutually agreed upon division of property, most state law provides a list of factors that courts consider in making a final decision. Generally, among these factors are:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Age and health of the spouses
  • Contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of property
  • Contribution of one spouse to the education or training of the other
  • Custodial provisions for children of the marriage
  • Whether either of the spouses will be awarded spousal support
  • Present and potential earning power of each spouse
  • The total economic circumstances of the spouses
  • The existence of any pre- or post-marital agreement between the spouses

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For more information review our other family law FAQs, or call the Zolman Law Firm at 314-375-5237 or contact us online.