It’s understandable that more thought goes into having the perfect place settings on the dinner tables for your wedding than which one of you would get that perfect dining room table you bought together a few months after. Who wants to think about how their things will be divided in a divorce before the wedding even happens? But if you’re in one of the many states that doesn’t recognize community property, a judge could decide who gets that dining room table, along with any other property you acquired during your marriage. How do courts choose who gets what? Here’s a brief overview of marital property laws in Indiana.
Marital Property Law
Marital property is a legal concept referring to all the possessions and interests acquired after a couple gets married. While some states recognize the concept of "community property," in which all marital property is considered equally owned, most states, like Indiana, allow more flexibility in property division should the couple get a divorce.
Marital Property Laws in Indiana
Like divorce proceedings and custody laws, marital property laws can differ from state to state. Learn more about Indiana marital property laws and related matters below.
|Statute (Division of Property)||Indiana Code § 31-15-7-0.2, et seq.
Community Property Recognized?
Dower And Curtesy
Dower and curtesy abolished (§29-1-2-11)
Marital and Separate Property in General
In many states, most of the property you bought or received while you are married becomes marital property, regardless of whose name is on the title. Marital property is owned by both of you and will get divided should you get divorced. On the other hand, separate property is property one spouse owns before the marriage and is not subject to division in a divorce. If a spouse receives property via inheritance or a gift during the marriage, it is normally considered separate property as well. This is not how property is designated in a divorce in Indiana, however.
Fair Property Division in Indiana
Even though Indiana law doesn't recognize community property (or the division of marital and separate property discussed above), it does require courts to determine an "equitable" property division. Equitable in most cases means that each spouse gets about half of everything they own. However, a court could decide it is fair to have an unequal property split. Generally, this could occur if one spouse wasted the marital property, one spouse was the source of the property (i.e., inherited property), or if one person needs more property. In some cases, the spouse who gets more of the property also takes on more of the shared debt.
If you and your spouse are able to come to your own agreement regarding property division, courts will usually accept it. Such an agreement, if accepted by the court, generally allows each party to claim certain property that would be considered "separate" in other jurisdictions.
Indiana Marital Property Laws: Related Resources
When it comes to marital property and divorce, state laws are subject change. If you would like legal help with your divorce case, you can contact an Indiana divorce attorney. You can also visit FindLaw's divorce and property section for more general information.
Contact a qualified attorney.