Our property division attorneys in Ogden, UT, can act as representation during a divorce proceeding. Utah courts exercise considerable discretion in determining what is an equitable and fair division of property, assets, and debts between spouses. Factors considered for fair distribution of property may include the length of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, each spouse’s occupation and sources, and amounts of income. An experienced attorney can uphold your best interests in this process.
Property Division in Utah
Utah law requires equal and fair division of all marital property, which does not necessarily mean a 50/50 split. The court will take into consideration each spouse’s contribution to the acquired marital property and assets, regardless of income, and each spouse’s future needs. All marital property can be divided, regardless of location or whose name is listed on the title or deed.
Utah law requires equal and fair division of all marital property, which does not necessarily mean a 50/50 split.
Long-term marriages may end up as a 50/50 split or may be fairly distributed as more or less than 50 percent. For short-term marriages, the court may attempt to restore each spouse to their individual economic standing prior to the marriage.
Marital vs. Non-marital Property
Marital property is considered any property, income, other assets, or debt acquired during the marriage. The most common marital property is real property of land and any structures or buildings attached to it, such as a house. Personal property such as cars, jewelry, and furniture can also be considered marital property. Property can be considered marital even if a title or deed is only in one spouse’s name. Marital property can also include retirement or pension plan benefits.
Non-marital property is generally considered any property owned or acquired prior to the marriage. A gift or inheritance received by one spouse during the marriage may also be considered non-marital property. At the end of the marriage, each spouse keeps his or her own non-marital property. However, if any non-marital property was used to somehow benefit the marriage, it can legally be considered marital property.
Division of Real Property
Real property includes any houses or land purchased during the marriage, even if only one spouse’s name is on the deed or title. Real property is commonly sold and the money from the sale is divided fairly between each spouse. If one spouse desires to keep the house or property, that spouse may buy out the other by paying the amount that would have been received from a sale. This option may require the spouse who keeps the property to refinance so that everything is in his or her own name.
Division of Personal Property and Retirement Benefits
Personal property can include items acquired during the marriage, such as cars, boats, jewelry, furniture, dishes, tools, and more. As with real property, personal property may be considered marital property even if only one spouse’s name appears on the title. The primary goal in the division of personal property is to provide each spouse with enough items to create a separate home. Therefore, if there are two of the same item, each spouse gets one.
Any amount paid into any type of retirement or pension plan is also considered marital property. In cases where each spouse has his or her own retirement plan, each is awarded their own benefits. If just one spouse has a retirement plan, it is often better to allow that spouse to keep his or her own benefits and award something of equal value to the other spouse, such as equity from the home or other property. Retirement plans that must be split require a separate court order and a more complicated process.
Property division during divorce proceedings can be a stressful time for both parties, and it can be difficult to fairly divide your marital property and assets on your own. Our attorneys at Froerer & Miles specialize in property division and can help ensure that you are awarded an equitable and fair share. If you are considering a divorce, contact us today to set up a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.