Fair and equitable distribution of all marital assets and debts occurs when a couple divorces in the state of Utah. Inequitable distribution states, each partner’s contribution to the assets and debts, as well as the future needs of each party, is considered before the property is divided. Whether one party has made significant financial contributions to the marriage, or one partner has recently inherited a large sum of money, the courts determine what fair distribution is when the marriage is being dissolved. Debts are also divided fairly. If one party entered the marriage with a large amount of debt, that same person is likely to be responsible for that debt if it still exists at the end of the marriage. The Utah courts have considerable leeway when dividing marital property, and it’s critical to have a qualified family law attorney on your side. If you are in the midst of a divorce, it’s time to fill out our contact form to see what we can do for you. We offer a no-obligation case review, and we understand the emotional complexities that come with filing for divorce. We are here for you and we will protect your rights as you go through the difficult process of divorce.
- Retirement funds such as 401(k)s, pensions, and IRA accounts
- Physical property such as land, houses, furniture, and art
- Life insurance policies that have been funded over the years
- Investments in stocks, bonds, and other financial portfolios
Debts are also equitably divided during a divorce. Debt can include:
- Mortgages held on properties
- Car loans
- Student loans
- Medical bills
- Credit card balances
Frequently Asked Questions About Division of Assets and Debts in a Divorce
In Utah, the court looks at all the assets and debts in marriage and determines how they will be divided. A judge considers the length of the marriage, how the assets were acquired and the needs of each party after the divorce, such as child expense or a medical expense. Income, earning potential, age and health are also taken into account.
If there are separate assets, each party gets to keep its own. The court determines how to most fairly apportion the joint or marital assets. Even if the divorcing parties come to the court with an agreed-on settlement, the judge won’t approve it unless that judge finds it fair and equitable.
Not necessarily. The distribution of assets and debt must be fair, which is not always the same as equal. Each party’s contribution to the marriage is considered as well as any debt they brought in. For example, if one spouse has student loans from their single days, the other spouse will not be required to pay them. Another example: if one spouse received an inheritance it’s theirs to keep.
There are few hard and fast rules, however, and the courts have leeway in determining what’s fair. It’s important to have an attorney who will aggressively fight for your well-deserved share of the assets.
Assets to be divided include any kind of real estate and tangible possessions such as art, jewelry, collectibles, cars, and boats. 401K’s, IRA’s and pensions are also considered, as well as bank and investment accounts, stocks, other securities and insurance policies with cash value. Other intangible assets are income, dividends, and employee benefits.
Debts include mortgages, car loans, student loans, medical bills, and credit card balances. They consist of all liabilities of both parties incurred before and during the marriage.
There are two kinds of property in a divorce, marital property and separate property. Marital property includes all assets and debt acquired by the couple during the marriage. This includes real estate even if only one name is on the deed and automobiles even if only one name is on the title. It also may include assets that were used for the benefit of the marriage even though one party brought them in. Pensions are generally marital assets.
Separate assets are assets that came into the marriage with one party and were kept separate throughout the marriage. This also includes assets that were given specifically to one spouse during the marriage, such as an inheritance.
Marital assets are divided, but separate assets cannot be awarded to the other party.
Because the settlement is determined largely by the discretion of the court, it’s important to have an experienced divorce attorney aggressively fight for what you deserve. Even if you’ve only begun to consider divorce, it’s not too early to consult a lawyer to guide you in the right steps.
Contact Our Top-Rated Salt Lake City Divorce Attorneys Today
We have years of experience assisting people through this stage in their life, and we have the understanding necessary to get you what you need out of your divorce. We offer open communication throughout your divorce proceedings, and we are always available to answer any questions that you have. We know how to evaluate your assets, and we will work hard to get you what is rightfully yours during the divorce.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to clients who are considering filing for divorce but aren’t sure of the next step to take. We will review your case, and offer you our expert opinion on how you will benefit from filing your case today. We know that filing for divorce takes time, willpower and energy, and we are here to support your decision every step of the way. With a qualified attorney on your side, you will get what is rightfully yours, without having to fight for it on your own.
When you are ready to meet with one of Wall & Wall’s experienced divorce attorney that can handle all aspects of your divorce case, it’s time to fill out our contact form so that we can begin discussing your case. We understand that sometimes the hardest part about getting a divorce is making the decision to file, and as experts in the field, we are here for you.