The equitable distribution of assets and property is one of the most complicated facets of the divorce process. In Washington D.C., marital property is typically divided fairly and impartially per the will of the court. However, this doesn’t necessarily imply a 50/50 split. If spouses want to have full control over the distribution process, they can negotiate and draft a marital settlement agreement with the help of their divorce attorneys. In most cases, the court will honor this agreement when dividing the marital estate.
At DiPietro Law Group, PLLC, we can help you categorize and fairly divide your marital assets, properties, and debts. With over 40 years of combined legal experience, our Washington D.C. divorce lawyers have the skills and resources to effectively represent your interests during mediation negotiations and achieve your legal objectives should your case require courtroom litigation.
Rely on our experience to guide you through the divorce process. Call our Washington D.C. divorce attorneys at (202) 902-9587 to learn more about separate and marital properties.
Understanding Marital & Separate Property
Only property that is part of a couple’s “marital estate” can be distributed during a divorce. This marital estate includes all property that is shared by both spouses and acquired during the course of their marriage.
Marital property may include:
- Income earned during the marriage
- Real estate and personal properties
- Motor vehicles
- Stocks and investment interests
- Retirement savings
- Financial accounts
Alternatively, separate property, or “personal property,” may be exempt from the marital estate. It’s important to thoroughly examine your assets with a lawyer before starting property negotiations. If you aren’t careful, you could find yourself with an unfavorable marital settlement agreement.
Separate property may include:
- Any property acquired before the marriage
Marital Property Laws
In Washington D.C., couples can negotiate their own marital settlement agreements or rely on the stipulations listed in prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. However, if spouses can’t come to an accord, the state’s marital property laws direct the courts to determine how the marital estate should be distributed. The court will review all separate and marital properties and make a final determination based on the needs of both spouses and their children.
The court considers the following factors when determining property distribution:
- Duration of the marriage
- The occupations or employability of both spouses
- What led to the divorce
- The best interests the child
- Monetary and non-monetary contributions
- The value of the marital estate
- Tax considerations
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
All marriages, regardless of their duration, have unique circumstances and concerns that can influence a divorce settlement. It’s important to retain the services of a skilled divorce attorney if you want to ensure a far division of property. After all, “equitable division” doesn’t necessarily mean the court will split a couple’s assets 50/50.
At DiPietro Law Group, PLLC, our Washington D.C. divorce lawyers can effectively guide you through mediation, collaborative divorce, high net-worth divorce, or a contested divorce. Our fierce litigators are prepared to advocate for your best interests and secure the property you require.
Contact DiPietro Law Group, PLLC at (202) 902-9587 to schedule your free consultation.