Who owns what during a marriage, after a divorce or the death of one spouse majorly depends on whether you reside in a community property state or in a common law property state.
While this classification may seem meaningless during the marriage, in the unfortunate event of a divorce or death, they become critical. With that said, it is essential to contact a divorce lawyer in Little Rock to help you understand how it works for you. Before that, here is an insight into divorce law and property distribution.
Common Law Property States
This law determines ownership of the property acquired during the marriage. It states that property bought or acquired by one spouse is solely owned by that person.
However, if this spouse registered the item — for instance, a car — in both spouses’ names, then the property belongs to them both. In such a case, the court of law will decide how to divide or distribute such property. To safeguard themselves, most couples agree before marriage on how they will divide the property during a legal separation.
Community property states
This category follows the rule of, ‘every property acquired in the marital period is community property,’ thus, owned in equal shares by the spouses. These properties include any form of earnings, any property bought with the earnings, as well as all the debts accrued during the entire marriage.
With this law, any property acquired before marriage, any inherited property by one spouse and any property given to a spouse before or during the marriage belongs to them only. During a divorce, each spouse will end up with 50% of their community property in accordance with the current economic value.
Division of marital property upon divorce is never an easy thing to deal with. While the state you reside in will determine the logistics and details of property division, understanding the concept can be confusing. However, you do not have to go through the details and figure them out on your own. Instead, get a divorce attorney to help you maneuver.