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Understanding equitable division of marital property in divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2023 | Divorce

Hawaii is among the many states that use the equitable division principle for marital property during a divorce. Therefore, when divorcing spouses cannot agree on how to divide marital assets during divorce and do not have a legally enforceable agreement like a prenup specifying who gets what, the court will divide these assets equitably.

Equitable division aims to achieve a fair division of marital assets. As such, the court will consider various factors. They include:

  • The age and health of each spouse
  • Their skills and employability
  • The duration of the marriage
  • Any culpable behavior or actions in bad faith, such as hiding assets or violating a restraining order
  • The impact of property division on any dependent children

It is worth noting that the debts acquired during the marriage will be divided similarly.

You may end up with unequal portions of the marital assets at the end of the property division process. It all depends on the circumstances of your case. Equitable division doesn’t necessarily mean 50-50 division.

Who gets the house, and what happens to the family business?

Laws don’t specifically address the division of particular marital assets. As such, the house and the family business are typically subject to equitable division. You may have to buy out your spouse’s interests in the home or business to keep it. Otherwise, you may have to sell the asset in question and divide the proceeds.

Proactive measures that can help protect your financial interests

A lot can go wrong when dividing marital property, and you could get short-changed if you are not careful. Therefore, it’s crucial to safeguard your financial interests during divorce proceedings by taking a proactive stance.

Maintain accurate records of financial documents, close joint credit accounts and be prepared to assert your legal rights. Most importantly, get experienced legal guidance to help you navigate the divorce process and safeguard your interests.

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