Indiana law creates a presumption that each party to a marriage is entitled to 50% of the marital property. This presumption of a 50-50 split of marital property can vary to some extent under various circumstances, but in most cases, each party is awarded 50% of the marital property and 50% of the marital debt.
50 / 50 Presumption
Where there is a very short marriage and one party comes to the marriage with significantly more money, there may be some variation of the 50-50 split. Where one party is unable to work due to disability or lack of education or responsibility for caring for a disabled child, the 50-50 presumption is often varied. However, under most circumstances, each party is entitled to 50% of the assets and 50% of the debts.
What happens to the Marital residence?
When spouses divorce, the issue that often arises is what is considered marital property and what is considered marital debt. In Indiana, everything the parties own, either together or separately, while married is marital property. Similarly, every debt incurred during the marriage, whether jointly or individually, is marital debt. The exception to this is where the debt is incurred by one party after the degree of dissolution is filed. When this happens, the debt often is considered the debt of only the party who incurred it.
Gifts and Inheritance
Even a gift or an inheritance given to one spouse during the marriage is considered marital property and is subject to division via the presumption of the 50-50 split. If the marriage is short or the gift/inheritance is large, this may create a reason for deviating from the 50-50 split, but, nonetheless, the gift or inheritance is considered marital property.
Retirement benefits, such as a 401(k) or a pension, earned during the marriage is also considered marital property and is subject to division with a presumed 50-50 split, even though the retirement benefits are earned only by one party to the marriage.
If you are considering divorce and have questions regarding how your property will be divided, call us and we can help.