The division of property and debts must be equitable (fair) in each case. This usually means a 50/50 split, where each spouse gets an equal share. To decide what is fair in your case, the court may consider the following factors:
- How long you have been married
- Both spouses’ contributions to the marital estate (income and other contributions, such as being the primary parent)
- The ages of both spouses
- The health of both spouses
- The life status of both spouses (property division may attempt to maintain standard of living)
- Each spouse’s needs and circumstances (this could include one parent having primary custody of the children)
- Both spouses’ earning abilities (spouse who earns less may be given more than half of the property)
- Both parties’ past relations and conduct (who is at fault)
- General principals of fairness
All of the property and debts that you acquired during your marriage will be divided. Property that one of you had before your marriage can also be divided if necessary to create a fair division. A fair division of property and debts does not always mean a 50/50 split. There may be reasons, such as who is at fault in the break-up of the marriage, to divide the property 60/40 or some other way.
During a divorce the parties normally try to divide all of their marital property and debt in a way that is equal. If the parties can’t agree how to divide their property and debt, the court will decide on a fair division.