Many people beginning the divorce process have preconceptions about property division. Perhaps they have heard stories from friends, family members or even taken cues from television and think they know what to expect. State laws are sometimes different regarding property division, however, and one person’s experience can differ greatly from another’s. This is also true in Indiana. We have our own approach to marital property that differs from some other states, which can lead to misconceptions about property division. Below are the facts behind 2 myths about Indiana property division.
Myth #1: If my name is on the title, it must not be marital property.
Many people mistakenly assume that property titled in their name belongs to them alone in the divorce, but this is not true. Anything that either spouse owns on the date they file for divorce is considered marital property. This includes property titled in only one spouse’s name and includes gifts and inheritances. As stated above, the judge may consider the status of gifts or an inheritance, but the law sees it all as marital property.
Myth #2: If I owned it before we got married, I can keep it after the divorce.
In some states, the property you own when you wed is viewed as separate property, but not in Indiana. As stated above, if either spouse owns an asset on the day of filing for the dissolution, the court will view it as marital property. Again, the judge may take such factors into consideration when dividing the property, but the judge starts with a presumptive 50/50 division of assets and debts, including prior owned assets and debts.
Property division is complicated in Indiana, even in a standard case. If you have a complex property situation such as owning a business or if you have a high net-worth case, you will likely need the help of professionals to review and evaluate your assets. Either way, be aware that many factors can affect the outcome of your property division.