Once you and your spouse are separated, you may be thinking, “What about our joint bank accounts and other property?” The process of distributing the tangible and intangible property (both assets and debts) accumulated by the spouses during the marriage is known as equitable distribution.
Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean a 50-50 split of all the marital assets and debts, however. The theory behind equitable distribution is that marriage is a relationship and partnership where each spouse has a responsibility and right to both the marital assets and debts. Thus, a 50-50 split is not always equitable.
There are some things that are not considered in equitable distribution. This is known as separate property. Separate property includes estate distributions or inheritances to one spouse, and property one spouse had before the parties were married, among other things.
Equitable distribution can be done by filing an action in the county where one of the parties resides or by the drafting of a Separation Agreement and Marital Property Settlement. Many times, parties do not want to go through the court system to settle these types of matters. Thus, a Separation Agreement is often something that parties prefer.
If you have any questions about separation or equitable distribution, please contact Megan Schultz at The Law Group to set up a consultation! 910-251-6088