Couples going through a breakup often find themselves fighting over everything, from who gets to keep the family home to who gets the family pet. Sometimes, the couple can settle their property division issues outside of the courtroom and if this agreement is fair and reasonable, the court will approve the agreement.
If the parties cannot agree, the courts will step in and make these decisions on your behalf. Vermont is an equitable distribution state, meaning that courts will fairly and equitably divide the marital property between you and your ex. It is important to understand that “fairly and equitably” does not necessarily mean that everything will be divided equally. Courts will consider several factors when deciding how to divide up the marital property including:
- Length of the marriage
- Age, health and earning capacity of each spouse
- Income earned by each spouse
- Financial and non-financial contributions made by one spouse to benefit the other spouse’s education or earning potential
- Value of property interests and liabilities
Keep in mind that only marital property can be distributed in the divorce. Marital property refers to any property acquired during the marriage or with marital funds. Separate property refers to property that solely belongs to one spouse (e.g., inheritance or gift).
If you are getting a divorce, you may be struggling to agree on how to divide up your property. An attorney can help with the property-division process and give you the best chance at walking away from your marriage with the assets you value the most.