How property division works in an Indiana divorce

If you are in the midst of a breakup or preparing for a divorce in Indiana, you may be wondering how the property division process works. You likely have concerns about who will get what at the end of the day when it comes to common assets like these:

  • Bank accounts
  • Real estate
  • Vehicles
  • Retirement plans

How property is split largely depends on whether you and your spouse can come to an agreement. Here are some of the most important facts you should know about property division in an Indiana divorce.

Equitable distribution

 Indiana family laws follow the equitable distribution model. This means the distribution of assets must be fair, which may not necessarily be an equal, 50/50 split. The courts consider multiple factors to distribute property fairly:

  • The contributions to acquired property of each spouse
  • Whether the property was acquired before marriage, through inheritance or as a gift
  • The financial circumstances of each spouse
  • The potential earning ability of each spouse

Depending on these various factors, the court may decide that a completely equal division is not actually the fairest outcome.

Coming to an agreement

 While Indiana has laws regarding property division, this does not necessarily mean the decision is completely up to the courts. You and your soon-to-be former spouse can agree on how to divvy up your assets on your own. As long as your agreement is reasonable and fair, the court is likely to accept it.

The difference between marital and separate property

Generally, property either of you acquired during your marriage counts as marital property and is up for division in a divorce. Separate property refers to any property either of you owned before the marriage. However, it can sometimes be difficult to determine the distinction because separate property often becomes commingled. For example, your spouse may deposit money into your bank account that you opened before the marriage. This means some separate property may be subject to division as well.