One of the hardest tasks you will have to overcome when it comes to divorce is dealing with joint assets. You’re probably confused about how the process of splitting up assets works. Before you can even begin thinking of the intricacies of dividing up joint assets, you must first define what joint property is. Legally speaking, joint property is defined as property that has more than one owner. 

In divorce law, joint property is different from a marital asset. Marital assets are all of the property that you and your spouse acquired during your marriage. When it comes to marital assets as they relate to divorce, the laws of where you and your former spouse live will determine the distribution of marital property. 

Community Property

This type of property encompasses all earnings that you and your spouse made during the marriage, and everything both of you purchased with said earnings. Moreover, this property includes all debts incurred during the span of your marriage. 

Separate Property

This type of property includes gifts, inheritances, and personal injury awards given just to one particular spouse. Property that was purchased with the separate funds of one spouse remains that spouse’s separate property. A business that was exclusively owned by one spouse before marriage remains his or her separate property during the span of the marriage. However, a portion of the company may be considered community property if the business increased in value during the marriage. Another instance in which parts of a business could be regarded as community property is if both spouses collectively worked on it. Separate property that is commingled with community property during the marriage may become community property, either in part or entirely—this depends on the circumstances. 

House Ownership

Children are the defining factor when it comes to deicing, who gets to stay in the house. If you and your former spouse have children, the parent who spends more time with the kids and provides primary care typically gets to stay in the marital home with them. However, if you and your former spouse don’t have children and the house is the separate property of just one spouse, that spouse can legally ask the other spouse to leave the house. 

House ownership isn’t simple to deal with, and the process only becomes more complicated if there are no children involved, and both spouses have ownership of the house. Neither of you has the legal right to kick the other spouse out of the house. In this situation, the most that can be done is for one spouse to ask the other spouse to leave, but there will be no legal pressure for the other person to go. Courts will decide who stays with the house if you and your former spouse don’t decide for yourselves. Call the police if your spouse changes the locks on your door or physically prevents you from entering the house. 

Distributing assets in a divorce are stressful, and it can sometimes escalate to arguments. Don’t go through this process alone without the guidance of a seasoned divorce attorney. Contact The Ault Firm today to work a divorce attorney.