When a court divides property in a divorce, it will use the concept of equitable distribution. Many people do not understand what this means, and it is essential to know how it works when you are getting a divorce.
Equitable division simply means fairly dividing assets. This is in contrast to community property laws that work a little differently.
Fair not equal
One essential point to understand about equitable distribution is it does not mean equal. The court will not likely equally divide assets because of the many factors it will use in making decisions. Equitable simply means a fair division where both parties get a reasonable amount of assets compared to each other.
A few states use community property as the basis for property division in a divorce. This type of division is an equal split. In these states, courts will split property in half based on value so that each spouse walks away with an equal financial portion of the assets.
With equitable division, the court may consider a wide range of things when making a decision. It could look at overall financial situations, giving a spouse with lower income or personal assets more of the marital property. The court ultimately decides what fair means. It is usually best for a couple to come to property division decisions outside of court. As long as the judge rules the settlement fair, then it will stand.
What people mainly misunderstand about equitable division is that it is not equal. Knowing this one point can help you a lot when you are trying to figure out the property division in your divorce.