Property division is one of the largest areas of divorce that is widely contested. Spouses each want a piece of what Marital Property they deem to be rightfully theirs. At The Hudson Law Firm, we believe that both sides of the divorce need to understand the Arkansas laws regarding what constitutes marital property and the factors that impact division before going into the divorce.
Arkansas is an “equitable distribution” state
Laws that govern the division of marital property vary from state to state. Arkansas is an “equitable distribution” state when it comes to the division of marital property. Equitable distribution does not always mean “equal” division, it means “fair” division of marital assets and liabilities. A divorcing couple has the ability to personally negotiate a property distribution settlement that a judge has to approve. If a couple is not able to reach an agreement, however, the court will engage in equitable distribution to divide the property. If a divorcing couple is able to reach an agreement on how to divide only part of their assets and liabilities, the court will step in to distribute the undivided portion.
What Constitutes as Marital Property?
The division process begins by determining whether property is marital or non-marital. Non-marital property, or property that is separate, is kept by the spouse who brought the property into the marriage. Separate property includes:
- Property owned before a marriage
- Property that was acquired during the marriage by gift or inheritance
- Increased earnings on separate property
- Recoveries related to personal injury claims
What can Impact the Division of Property?
In a divorce, there are several factors that can impact how marital property is divided up. Arkansas law presumes that marital property will be split equally between the two spouses, but, sometimes the judge may decide to award one spouse a greater percentage of the marital property. The court will review several factors in determining how to divide marital property. Some of these factors include:
- The length of the marriage;
- Age, health, and station in life of the parties;
- Occupation of the parties;
- Amount and sources of income;
- Vocational skills;
Of course, there are other issues that can lead to an unequal division of marital property, but by working with an experienced family law attorney, you will be guided through what can be a very complex process.
If you are having trouble dividing marital property in your contested or uncontested divorce, reach out to The Hudson Law Firm. Our experienced family law attorneys will be able to help you hash out what rightfully belongs to each member of the process.
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