When a couple divorces in the state of North Dakota, they may be unaware of which property they get to keep and what they have to share with their spouse. Most people aren’t sure who will be responsible for debts, whether they were accrued before or after the marriage. Read on to learn how the property, asset, and debt division process works according to Family Law Fargo ND.
The Law of Equitable Distribution
North Dakota follows the “equitable distribution” rule, which means property is divided between spouses in an equitable way. Equitable distribution isn’t always equal, but the family court must work under that assumption. From there, the judge will evaluate the marriage’s circumstances and make awards based on both spouses’ contributions and needs. In the end, debts and assets will be divided fairly, even if it leaves a spouse with an unequal share.
Dividing Separate and Marital Property
Before the court divides a couple’s assets, the judge must know what belongs to the marital estate, what belongs to each spouse, and the extent of each assets. Typically, marital property is anything earned or acquired during the marriage. Non-marital assets are those owned by an individual before a marriage; this category also includes gifts, inheritances, and money received in exchange for non-marital assets and kept in a separate account. The differences between separate and marital property are crucial even though the judge will include both property types in the division of assets. During a divorce, debts are handled in the same way as any other kind of property.
Circumstance-Based Property Division
Family Law Fargo ND works under the presumption that all property will be equally divided. Without input from the spouses, the division will be equal. If either person has a valid reason for an unequal property division, the court will gather information to gain an understanding of what the spouses owned during and before the marriage and what they’ll need after the divorce. From there, the judge has discretion in property distribution.
Divorces are difficult under any circumstance, and asset division is one of the most complicated aspects of the process. Call the Aaland Law Firm to schedule a consultation or Visit website to fill out the online contact form.