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Dividing marital property during a divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Property Division

Every couple enters marriage hoping it will last forever. As you build your family throughout the years, you have likely acquired assets that you considered communally owned—your house, car and savings, to name a few. But when you are now facing each other in a divorce, the battle of who owns what could make the separation process more complex and messier.

What is considered marital property?

Everything you acquired during the time you were married is considered marital property. It includes the bank accounts, investments, and real estate you or your spouse acquired. Even if the property is under one spouse’s name, it could still be considered part of your marital property. However, this excludes certain assets given to one spouse, such as gifts or inheritance. The court will divide assets and debts comprising your marital property according to state laws.

How does Hawaii divide property during a divorce?

Hawaii follows a marital partnership principle when diving property during a divorce. This means there will be other considerations in dividing a property than simply splitting it in half. The court will carefully consider your financial security, age, health and employability. They will also study your past behaviors, such as violating the law or hiding assets. Property division will also consider its impact on your children, if any. The court will decide on the property division considering the divorce’s financial impact on each of you.

How can separating couples approach property division?

You may opt to enter a settlement agreement to prevent further complexities in the divorce. You could agree that whoever bought the property with their personal funds will ultimately get the property. At the same time, you could decide that the wrongdoer would shoulder debts acquired based on individual interest. The court will still review the settlement agreement. When the judge sees that it is fair for both parties, then it will be granted.

The divorce process could take longer and become more complex when you and your partner find it hard to agree on property division. The guidance of an experienced family lawyer could help you go through this process more efficiently and, at the same time, protect the assets that are rightfully yours.

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