Boise Property Division Attorney
Dividing Assets & Debts During Divorce
During the divorce process, couples must make decisions about how to divide real estate, general property, assets and debts. Idaho community property laws require that the property awarded to each spouse must be substantially equal. At Derek A. Pica, PLLC, our family law attorney in Boise has handled complex property cases for our clients since 1992.
Community vs. Separate Property
The first step in the process is to determine whether the property is community or separate. Separate property is property that was owned by one spouse prior to the marriage or acquired during the marriage as a gift or inheritance. Certain types of separate property may become community property after the marriage, such as a house that was owned by one spouse who changed the title to add the spouse after marriage or bank accounts that become co-mingled during the marriage. Determining the nature of property can be complex, so it is important to have an experienced property division attorney in Boise to advise you during the process.
What Are Some Factors That Determine Property Division?
The state of Idaho may consider the following factors in determining a fair division of property:
Marital fault - Idaho offers a combination of at-fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. In instances of marital fault, the court may allocate a higher percentage to the injured spouse.
Economic misconduct - Spouses who recklessly spent marital assets may be entitled to a lower percentage.
Income and earning capacity - The court may consider the income and earning capacity of each spouse.
Educational contributions - Spouses who contributed to their partner’s education or career advancement may receive a percentage of the marital property.
Custody of children - The parent with full custody of the children may receive a higher percentage of the estate or parts of marital property, such as the family home.
Can a Prenuptial Agreement Affect Property Division?
Yes, a prenuptial agreement that establishes what constitutes separate vs. community property and how finances will be structured and divided in case of divorce can take precedence over the state’s property division laws.
Property Division in Idaho
Once assets have been categorized as community or separate property, the community property must be valued. This can be a complex process and appraisals may be needed to determine the value of real estate, art, antiques, and other property. The assistance of a financial professional may be needed to determine the value of retirement assets.
In addition to assets, debt must be assigned to each spouse, including:
- Car payments
- Credit card debt
When possible, it is better to pay off marital debts at the time of a divorce to prevent both spouses from being pursued by creditors for the debt. One way this is done is by one spouse buying out the other, such as through home refinancing at the time of the divorce. We can advise you of your options and explain what is likely to happen in your case.
Call (208) 314-1161 to discuss property division and other aspects of divorce during a free 15-minute consultation.
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