Division of Property Attorney in Salt Lake City
Get Help With the Division Of Property During Your Divorce
Sometimes, spouses agree to an amicable divorce. They mutually decide to sell everything they own and divide the profits between them. However, this scenario is rare. In most situations, the division of property is often one of the most sensitive issues in a divorce.
If you are considering a divorce, or you’re having difficulty getting a fair division of your marital property, call Christensen Law right away. With over 35 years of experience serving families throughout Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas, we have what it takes to help you get the best possible outcome for your case.
When you choose Christensen Law, our skilled and compassionate family law attorneys will stand by your side during this difficult process, give you the tools to decide what’s best for your family, and fight to get you the divorce settlement you deserve. Don’t wait to get on the road to recovery.
What Property Is Eligible for Division in a Divorce in Utah?
Property that might be eligible for division in a divorce involves a wide variety of assets. This property might include:
- physical assets
- mutual funds
- retirement benefits
This first step in dividing all these different types of property is determining whether each asset is marital or personal property. While there are certain exceptions, most property that is acquired during the marriage is considered marital property. On the other hand, most of the assets that each spouse acquired before the marriage are considered personal property.
However, for a spouse to claim that their property is personal and not subject to division in the divorce, they must usually demonstrate that they have kept it completely separate throughout the marriage. For example, if one spouse owned a house before the marriage, but both spouses lived in the home and benefited from it throughout their union, then the house might be subject to divorce.
What Factors Does a Utah Divorce Court Consider When Dividing Property?
Under Utah law, property is subject to an equitable division during a divorce. This doesn’t mean that the court will necessarily divide all assets in half. It means that the judge will look at multiple factors and decide how to divide the property in a manner they feel is fair and equitable to both spouses.
Some of the factors that the court might consider when dividing the marital estate include:
- The length of the marriage
- Sources of income for each spouse, including wages, rental properties, or other assets
- Non-monetary contributions to the marriage or the household, such as cleaning, cooking, supporting a spouse professionally or through their education, and taking care of the children
- Abilities of each spouse to earn future income
- The spouses’ ages, health, and individual needs
- The type and value of each asset in the marital estate
Determining the value of the couple’s assets is often complicated and time-consuming. The easiest way to find the value of the marital estate is to sell everything and divide the profits equitably. However, few couples want to take this option.
What If We Signed a Prenuptial or Premarital Agreement?
Any agreement must be reviewed to make sure it’s legally valid before it can be used as evidence in a divorce case. If the agreement is determined to be a legal document, then it can provide proof that certain assets are one spouse’s personal property and are not subject to division. However, if one spouse has evidence of an unusual circumstance, such as they were forced to sign the agreement or their spouse fraudulently hid some of their assets, then the court might decide the prenuptial is not legally binding.
What If We Own a Business Together?
Splitting up standard marital property in and of itself can be complex. To begin to determine how a Utah business is valued and then potentially divided between the spouses in a high-asset divorce, the court needs some specific information.
For example, there are different considerations about how to divide the asset of a business depending on when it was acquired or started, i.e., before or after marriage, and who contributed money, or the most money, to buy or run the business.
Another complication is the challenge of assigning an accurate value to the business itself. Obviously, there are profits to consider. Value also must be placed on equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, and investments along with intangibles like goodwill.
Other factors that may come into play include:
- Did both spouses put equal effort into the business?
- Are you co-owners and are there others besides your spouse with an equity stake?
- Which spouse may be best equipped to keep the business running?
- Can the business continue without the current owner and better off sold and the proceeds split?
- Does the business own real estate?
- What are the annual earnings?
- What are the tax implications?
- Type of product or services
- The future trend for demand and growth
- Financial history
The type of business structure itself can also be a factor in the division of assets at the end of the marriage. With so many issues that can arise, it is vital to obtain the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney who has handled these types of high-asset cases before.
With 35 years of combined experience in divorce cases, the team at Christensen Law has the know-how you can count on to sort through the most complicated business asset problems. Schedule your consultation today.
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