Separation of Assets 101
Divorcing in Indiana can be much different from other states due to the marital property allowances within the Indiana statutes. There are essentially two types of divorce in Indiana. Those are marriages where dependent children are involved and those where dependent children are not involved. The primary issue in Indiana, aside from child custody and support issues, will then be the division of marital property. For families of considerable wealth, this can be a detailed process regardless of whether the couple has accumulated assets throughout the marriage or before. The dividing line is not always a timeline, as the statutes give the court significant latitude when awarding property in a final decree. Here are the basics of what the court may consider.
Determining Marital Property Inclusion
One of the first steps in dividing assets in Indiana is identifying what assets are marital property and what assets are not to be divided. One distinct notation in Indiana is that the ending date for accumulating marital property is the day of final separation and not the final day of the marriage. In addition, any pre-nuptial agreements must be presented to exempt any specific property. Inheritances and legal case settlements can also be included in this process. The responsibility of proof is incumbent on the spouse who owns the property or is using a prior agreement for exemption of the property to be considered by the court. The court otherwise assumes all property of the couple as marital property. Due to the potential for a court order other than a 50-50 split of all assets, it is always essential to have an experienced and aggressive family attorney legal professional representing your best interests.
Property Acquired Prior to Marriage
Particular in contesting property subject to division is property acquired before becoming married. This property is typically also included in the marital asset category, but the spouse who had total ownership prior to the marriage can present evidence in support of an exemption request. This is common with homeownership. Business ownership can be exempted as well under certain conditions. Still, the income generated by the business during the marriage is almost always considered marital property for the sake of an asset buyout of either spouse.
Asset Division and Child Support
Asset division can get complicated when children are involved. The custodial parent is usually allowed child support on some level, and the minimum allowable support amount may not necessarily be ordered. The amount of support is tied directly to the asset and income level of the non-custodial parent. When there is evidence of a significant difference in the asset and income level of the parents, the court can issue rulings of increased support as the child’s legal advocate. Furthermore, this allowance can apply to post-secondary education responsibilities as well in some instances. Authority to occupy any specific home can also be part of this court order when the custodial parent presents evidence in support of needing the dwelling as a primary home for dependent children.
Just as in a business dissolution case, paying financial liabilities is also divided among divorcing couples. While this can include mortgage payments and other accumulated debts, it can also include other outstanding financial liabilities such as credit cards. In addition, either spouse can claim exemption from certain financial liabilities under aggravating conditions when financial factors or spousal behavior has dwindled family assets or increased family debt. Also included in these claims can be withdrawing assets from bank accounts and selling property shortly before an eminent separation officially began.
It is clear that divorcing in Indiana can become a long and frustrating experience, and it is crucial to have a solid attorney when going through court procedures. There is often much to lose without effective legal representation because the Indiana court has considerable power to distribute assets on unequal terms. The best method of avoiding an unwanted ruling from the court is retaining a comprehensive Garrett Indiana, attorney who handles divorce cases as a primary practice focus who has a reputable track record of results for their clients. The family attorney you choose matters, especially when child custody is a contestable issue, and you always need an aggressive attorney when entering into an asset division mediation process.