Under Indiana law, most property acquired during a marriage is part of the marital estate. If the parties get divorced, the court will divide this property equally between the two parties.
A divorcing party may petition for an unequal division if they can show factors that would cause the court to award more assets to them or that a specific property is not part of the marital assets.
Factors considered in the distribution of assets
If one party does something to waste or dispose of marital assets before the divorce, the court may award the other spouse a more significant portion of the remaining assets. This might happen if one spouse liquidated an investment account to cover a gambling debt.
If the earning potential of one spouse is greater than the other, the court may designate a more significant portion of marital assets to the spouse that earns less. This is particularly likely if the lower-income spouse has custody of the children from the marriage.
Some types of property obtained by spouses during the marriage are separate and are not subject to equitable distribution, such as an inheritance. The receiving spouse would have to maintain the asset as individual property and not comingle it with other marital property.
If a spouse can show that they owned a particular property before the marriage, they can ask the court to exempt these assets from any property distribution.
Determining the distribution of assets in a divorce is a complex process. The type of assets and position of each party in the marriage are important factors.