The definition of marital property varies from state to state. While some states consider only property acquired by a couple during the marriage to be marital property, others consider property owned by either party before the marriage to be marital property. This blog discusses what marital property is under Indiana law.
Indiana Code § 31-15-7-4 describes the property that a court will divide in a divorce, and provides in relevant part:
(a) In an action for dissolution of marriage under IC 31-15-2-2, the court shall divide the property of the parties, whether:
(1) owned by either spouse before the marriage;
(2) acquired by either spouse in his or her own right:
(A) after the marriage; and
(B) before final separation of the parties; or
(3) acquired by their joint efforts.
Because only marital property can be divided in a divorce, this statute, describing the property to be divided in a divorce is then also defining marital property. The statute lists marital property as that owned by either spouse before the marriage as well as property acquired during the marriage by the parties’ joint efforts or by one party alone. This means that any property acquired by either party, before or during the marriage, is marital property in Indiana.
The definition of marital property is generally relevant only when discussing the division of that property. While Indiana courts work under the presumption that an equal division of property is just and reasonable, this presumption can be rebutted by presenting evidence that an equal division of property would not be just and reasonable based on any of the following factors:
(1) The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the property, regardless of whether the contribution was income producing.
(2) The extent to which the property was acquired by each spouse:
(A) before the marriage; or
(B) through inheritance or gift.
(3) The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the disposition of the property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family residence or the right to dwell in the family residence for such periods as the court considers just to the spouse having custody of any children.
(4) The conduct of the parties during the marriage as related to the disposition or dissipation of their property.
(5) The earnings or earning ability of the parties as related to:
(A) a final division of property; and
(B) a final determination of the property rights of the parties.
So, while all property is considered marital property in Indiana, your spouse may not be entitled to an equal share of all the property. The attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. have the knowledge and experience you may need to ensure that you are awarded your fair share of the marital property in a divorce.
This blog was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. It is for general educational purposes. It is not intended to be relied upon for any legal matter or issue. The blog is not legal advice. This is an advertisement.