One of the issues that needs to be settled in a divorce is the division of any property that was acquired during marriage. Known as marital property, these assets can be divided regardless of who holds title to the land or where it is located.
Utah law follows the equitable division of marital property when dividing these assets during a divorce. Equitable is defined as fair, which does not necessarily mean an equal 50/50 split. Today, we review how property is divided during a divorce and what you need to know as you navigate the process of equitable division.
Equitable Division Explained
For the court to determine equitable division, or fair division of marital property, it must consider several factors. These factors include but are not limited to the following:
- Duration of the marriage
- Age and health of each spouse
- Occupation of each spouse
- Each spouse’s sources of income
Equitable may mean a 50/50 split for a long-term marriage or it could mean less than 50% of the property. It depends on the details surrounding your case. Property division cannot be reopened after a final order has been put into place, except under limited circumstances.
How Is Non-Marital Property Divided?
Property that was owned by a spouse before marriage, gifted to him/her, or granted as an inheritance is typically not considered marital property. In most cases, each spouse will be able to keep their non-marital property, unless that property was commingled, or combined with martial property. An example of this would be using marital funds to renovate a house you bought before you were married.
Can a Premarital Agreement Help Protect Your Property?
You can enter into a valid premarital agreement to protect property. This type of agreement can affect real estate, property, earnings, and other income as well. It cannot govern child support and childcare expenses.