One of the most challenging aspects of a separation or divorce is determining how to distribute property between the two individuals.
Generally, courts try to distribute property equally between both parties. Equitable distribution does not mean that all the property will be split directly in half. Rather, the judge will look at a variety of factors to determine what is equitable. Settlement agreements can also effect how assets are divided.
Any item that is jointly-titled (meaning it is in the name of both people, such as a house), items that were obtained after the date of marriage (but before the date of separation). Any item that's value was increased by the spouse can also be considered marital property.
Yes. You both can create a property settlement agreement, which is a voluntary agreement of how to distribute property and assets. It is a legal contract, and once signed and notarized is enforceable by the court.
It is not recommended that you do this without the help of a lawyer.
The judge, depending on the jurisdiction, will determine a fair and equitable way to distribute the debt. Some of the factors:
- Length of the marriage
- The basis for each debt
- The monetary and non monetary contributions of each persons to the marriage