Ask an Attorney - Property Distribution in a Divorce

Ask an Attorney - Property Distribution in a Divorce

The court will consider a lot of different factors when it tries to consider what type of property settlement you might be entitled to receive as part of your divorce, also known as a dissolution of marriage or dissolution. As a general rule, if you were not married but you were living together, the court does not divide property. Watch this video to learn more about these factors that a court may consider when deciding how to divide property in a divorce proceeding.


How do courts consider property distribution in a divorce?


The court will consider a lot of different factors when it tries to consider what type of property settlement you might be entitled to receive as part of your divorce, also known as a dissolution of marriage or dissolution. As a general rule, if you were not married but you were living together, the court does not divide property.

A court may consider the following factors when deciding how to divide property in a divorce proceeding:

  • Generally, parties to a divorce are entitled to a distribution of the property that was accumulated through their joint efforts during their marriage. The court values and considers the work in, e.g. “homemaking”, and out, e.g. “careers”, of the home setting when it divides property.
  • The court considers the property that was brought into the marriage by the parties; bringing property into a marriage does not necessarily mean that the party bringing the property will receive it in its entirety after the marriage. However, if a marriage is of a short length of time, e.g. a year or less, the court is likely to try to put parties back into the position they were in before they got married.
  • The court considers the contributions each party made to the marriage, e.g. assisting a spouse in obtaining a higher education such as a college or medical degree.
  • The court will consider the age and emotional health of both parties and determine whether each party will be able to be self sufficient after the dissolution is granted.
  • Earning capacity of the parties may also be taken into consideration.
  • If you have children, the court may consider whether one parent will have primary physical care of the children when awarding the home.