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New Albany, IN, Property Division Lawyer

Divorce is one of life’s greatest stressors; and when disagreements about dividing property come up, the case can become hotly contested. When divorcing spouses do not agree on who should be entitled to what assets, it can cause the divorce to become extremely complicated, especially in high-asset cases where property may include not only the home or pets, but businesses, investments, real estate, stocks, and retirement accounts.

Indiana follows the equitable distribution system, which means that assets and property acquired in the marriage should be divided in a fair and equitable, but not necessarily equal, manner. If you are considering divorce and have assets you are concerned about keeping, you should contact our experienced New Albany divorce lawyers to avoid making costly mistakes.

At Church Langdon Lopp Banet Law, our compassionate divorce lawyers understand what you are going through and have the knowledge, experience, and skill to protect your interests and guide you through the equitable distribution of property. We can explain how Indiana’s divorce law addresses the division of property and allocation of debts and develop solutions that benefit you and your children.

Why Choose Our New Albany, IN, Property Division Attorney

There are many divorce lawyers, and you need to find one you feel comfortable with and can trust, one who has the skills, experience, and resources to get the results you need.  Here are some reasons why we feel you should choose CLLB Law.

  • We are experienced and know Indiana family law. Attorney Dana Eberle leads the team as a trusted family law lawyer. Having gone through her own divorce more than a decade ago, she is well aware of the emotional ups and downs that can accompany this type of case and works to help you feel at ease as the case progresses.
  • We are recognized in and give back to the community. In addition to being admitted to the bar, Attorney Eberle is a board member of The Center for Women and Families, a member of The Center for Women and Families’ Southern Indiana Partnership Council, and the chair of the Center’s Southern Indiana Partnership Council.
  • We are appreciated by our clients, and you can read what our clients have to say about us to prove it.
  • We are compassionate and know what you are going through. Dana will be there for you through the entire process, making it as pain-free as possible.

How Our Property Division Lawyer Works for You

When dealing with property division, it is important to start gathering and preserving financial information as soon as possible. When you retain CLLB, our legal team will start working for you immediately. We will:

  • Meet with you to discuss and analyze your individual marital and property situation, what property is important for you to keep, and what your future needs and goals post-divorce are
  • Explain Indiana divorce laws and the court system as it pertains to your situation
  • Help you prepare necessary financial information about your income, expenses, assets, and debts before the divorce proceeding
  • Hire financial experts—such as appraisers, forensic accountants, or actuaries if necessary – to properly evaluate the worth of property or discover if a spouse is hiding assets.

When you have CLLB working for you, you can relax and let us handle all the financial and legal details, so you can focus on yourself, your family, and rebuilding your life post-divorce.

Property Division Attorney Explains Indiana Equitable Division

Indiana has a different system for dividing property than most equitable distribution states. In other states, only “marital” property is divided in divorce, and each spouse will keep their own “separate property,” which is property they acquired before the marriage or gifts and inheritances they received during the marriage.

Indiana law (Ind. Code § 31-15-7-4) requires dividing all property that the spouses own, including property . . .

  1. owned by either spouse before the marriage
  2. acquired by either spouse on their own after the marriage and before final separation
  3. acquired by their joint efforts.

This means that in Indiana, the only property not subject to distribution in divorce is property either spouse individually acquired on their own after they filed for divorce or legal separation. However, judges may consider whether the property was acquired before marriage or was received during the marriage as a gift or inheritance when determining who will get what.

In most cases, each spouse should wind up with about half of everything they own at the time of divorce. Indiana law requires judges to start out presuming that an equal division of a couple’s property is ”just and reasonable.”  If this is not the case in your situation, your attorney must present evidence that an equal division wouldn’t be fair.

Property Division Lawyer in New Albany, IN, Helps Value Property

Common examples of property that will be divided in a divorce include:

  • Your primary home and vacation homes
  • Vehicles
  • Household furnishings
  • Bank and stock accounts
  • Collectibles
  • Pensions and retirement plans
  • Businesses interests
  • Professional degrees and the “enhanced earning capacity” of any degree, license or certification obtained during the marriage.

When so much is at stake, it is important to work with your attorney to prepare your financial information, preferably before the divorce process starts. In some cases, such as when dealing with stock and bank accounts, determining an asset’s value is fairly straightforward. In other cases, you will probably need help from our financial experts. If, even after getting expert help, you and your divorcing spouse can’t agree on the value of any particular asset, our attorneys will help provide evidence for the judge to decide. Indiana gives judges flexibility to select any point between the date the divorce petition was filed and the date of the final divorce hearing to establish property value, as this may change over time.

In some cases, spouses may have signed a prenuptial agreement that states how assets will be divided, and that makes the process easier.

Any agreements still have to be approved by a judge, who will typically do so as long as they appear to be fair. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, or if the facts show that an unequal division of property would be more fair, our property division lawyers will be aggressive in presenting your side to the judge.

If you or your spouse believe there are valid reasons why an unequal division of property is fair, we will present evidence that may include:

  • The financial contributions both parties made, such as to buying the property
  • The conduct of the parties during the marriage, such as if one spouse wasted property by compulsive gambling
  • Past, present and future earning abilities of both parties
  • Special economic circumstances, such as if one spouse lacks ability to earn money after divorce
  • Which party will take primary responsibility for children and whether that spouse gets the family home
  • If a spouse acquired the property before the marriage or received it as an inheritance or gift (judges may consider this despite Indiana laws to the contrary).

Whether you are the spouse who’s arguing for an unequal property division or against it, our property division legal team will investigate and gather evidence on your behalf to prove the most fair and reasonable division under the circumstances.

Property Division Attorney Answers Frequently Asked Questions

When dividing property for a divorce, it is natural to have questions and concerns.  Here are some answers to questions our clients frequently ask about property division:

How Do Indiana Judges Distribute Property Fairly?

Indiana judges have a number of options for ways to divide property, including:

  • Awarding each spouse property of equal value
  • Requiring the spouse who receives certain property to pay the other spouse a fair share of the property’s value
  • Having spouses sell property and divide the proceeds.

What do I do if my spouse refuses to adhere to the property division provisions in our prenuptial agreement?

Pre- and post-nuptial agreements are contracts, subject to breach-of-contract enforcement. Our lawyers will review your agreement to ensure it was done correctly and can be enforced by the courts, and we will advocate on your behalf to ensure your spouse adheres to legally made provisions.

What happens to a professional practice or business run by just one spouse?

While a professional practice or business is subject to fair distribution, there are times when it is not desirable to split up a functioning entity. In these situations, the spouse who is running it may be awarded the business or practice and the other spouse would then be awarded another asset or property to satisfy equitable distribution.

How are 401(k) and other retirement accounts divided?

Retirement plans are part of divorce property division, but may require expert help to figure out what the plan is worth and to prepare a special order known as a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). A percentage of benefits can be set for payout to one spouse later, since some employment-related accounts are not yet eligible for payout as of the valuation date.

Who Gets the Family Home?

Judges often take into account the possibility that a custodial spouse may need to own or continue living in the family home and then typically award different assets to the other spouse to arrive at a fair division. If there aren’t enough other assets to balance out the value of a house, the house may be sold and the proceeds divided. One party may also have the option to “buy out” the other party through a refinanced mortgage.

Who Gets the Family Pet?

Indiana judges award pet ownership to one spouse in the divorce, just like any other personal property.

At CLLB Law, our legal team will be there for you to answer your questions and explain your options, throughout the entire divorce process.

Call Our Property Division Lawyer in New Albany, IN, for Help

The process of dividing property and assets when going through a divorce can be extremely challenging and affect the rest of your life. If you are concerned about how property division will affect you, rest assured that the Indiana property division lawyers at Church Langdo Lopp Banet Law will do everything possible to protect your rights and help you through this difficult period.

For skilled and knowledgeable representation regarding any divorce issues, contact us by calling 812-725-8226. Based in New Albany, Indiana, we proudly serve communities throughout Kentucky; Floyd County, IN; and Clark County, IN.

Don’t make costly mistakes – let our Family Law attorneys negotiate the best property division situation for you. Delaying can only make your situation worse, so call us today.

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