Animated graphic of a household being divided.

How is Property Divided in a Divorce?

Divorce is a complex process, especially when it comes to property division. In Utah, the courts will decide how property is divided for married couples. The process of determining how to divide marital property can be complicated, but having an understanding of the basics can help make the process easier.

Read on to learn more about the laws surrounding property division in Utah and how a prenuptial agreement can ease this process.

Marital Property Division in Utah

There is no standard equation when it comes to dividing assets. Utah follows an equitable distribution model when it comes to dividing marital assets and liabilities, meaning that each spouse will get what they deserve based on their contribution to the marriage and their financial situation. This includes both tangible (real estate, cars, furniture) and intangible (stocks/investments) items.

A court may consider factors such as length of the marriage, age/health of each spouse, earning capacity, the standard of living during the marriage, and contributions made by each spouse during the marriage when making its decision regarding property division.

If both parties can come to terms with a division of property or debts, a judge will review their agreement and, if found fair, enforce the division agreement.

In a divorce action, the property is categorized into two types: Marital (property that belongs to the marriage) and Separate (property that belongs exclusively to one of the two spouses). Generally, marital property is property acquired or earned during the marriage, including earned income. This includes property used for the benefit of the marriage, even if it started out as separate property, may also be considered marital property. Separate property includes anything that one spouse possessed before the marriage and managed to keep separate throughout the marriage. Separate property may also include a gift that was given to only one spouse during the marriage.

How a Prenuptial Agreement Can Ease The Process

A prenuptial agreement is an agreement between two people entering a marriage that sets out guidelines for how certain matters, such as alimony/spousal support payments, will be handled if they ever decide to separate legally. In Utah, these agreements must be written down before being signed by both parties and must meet specific requirements regarding validity.

By having this document in place before entering into a marriage, couples can ease the process of dividing up their assets should they decide to legally separate later down the road. We want you to know that we are here for you during this complex time, so don’t hesitate to reach out for legal advice if you have questions about your specific situation regarding asset division in Utah.

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