Equitable distribution of your property in a divorce sounds like an equal 50-50 split. However, there are a lot of factors a judge will consider when it comes to dividing your property:
- Non-marital property. These are assets you brought to the marriage, or gifts or inheritances you received during the marriage.
- Earning power. The spouse with less earning power is usually given a greater percentage of property.
- Who earned the property? Favors the spouse who worked hard to acquire or maintain the property.
- Services as a homemaker. Usually awards a bigger percentage to the spouse who worked as a homemaker.
- Waste and dissipation. If your spouse wasted money, such as gambling, that could count against him or her when it comes time to divide property.
- Duration of marriage. The longer the marriage, the more likely a judge will view you as equal partners.
- Age and health. If one spouse has ill health or is significantly older, the courts generally award a larger percentage of property to the sicker or older spouse.