Equitable does not always mean “Equal” in a Divorce.

Many people have a misconception that when they get divorced they will be entitled to “half” of the marital property.  Marital property is the property that is obtained during the marriage.  Unlike equitable division, an equal split of the property would be a 50-50 split.  So, what exactly is equitable division?

Equitable division is the principle that provides the parties with a more fair distribution of the property, although this does not necessarily mean “equal.”  The court will look at many factors to determine who should get what.  These factors include employment of the parties, medical concerns, income factors, the length of the marriage, any antenuptial agreements, and any obligations or rights that exist from a previous marriage.

Some examples of property that may be distributed equitably include bank accounts, homes, real estate, vehicles, and stock options.  One party may end up getting the home, while the other party gets the vehicle.  Or, one party may end up getting more of the bank account, while the other party will get the stock option.

Another issue that the parties need to consider is the tax implications of dividing the property.  For example, will the party who is receiving alimony be required to include that in their taxable income?  (Generally, alimony is treated as taxable income).  Or, which party will incur the tax ramifications from the sale of a home? (Generally, the party who is selling the home).

Determining who gets what in a divorce can be a complicated issue.  If you are going through a divorce and are unsure about how your property should be split up, call the Law Office of Keith Short at 618-254-0055 and let us counsel you.

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