Dividing assets in a divorce can be a challenging and often-contentious process. You and your spouse may not always see eye-to-eye, causing stress and confusion during an already emotionally charged time. One of the most common questions we get at Derek L. Hall, PC is whether Mississippi is a community property state. In a community property state, spouses getting a divorce must generally split assets acquired during the marriage down the middle.
While divorce laws vary by state, there are only a handful of community property states in the U.S. And Mississippi is not one of them. So how are assets and property divided in the Magnolia State?
What Is an Equitable Distribution State?
If Mississippi is not a community property state, then how is property divided here? Technically, Mississippi is an equitable distribution state. The word “equitable” can be confusing, though. In terms of a divorce, equitable does not always mean splitting assets down the middle 50/50.
An equitable division of property means splitting assets in a way that is fair to both parties. For example, if one partner contributed more to the marital assets, they may be entitled to a larger share of those assets. Or if one spouse had to give up their education or career to care for children, they may need more financial security.
How Does Property Distribution Work in Mississippi?
When a divorced couple cannot agree on how assets or property should be divided, the court must intervene. A Mississippi court will generally begin by placing a monetary value on all assets and property. From there, the court will review each partner’s contribution to the marriage and begin dividing assets based on their view of what is fair to each spouse.
Courts will consider various factors to arrive at an equitable split between partners, including the following:
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage
- The market and emotional value of all assets and property
- The value of the couple’s debts
- Each spouse’s overall financial need
- Tax and economic consequences of property division
- Each spouse’s income level
- Length of the marriage
- What assets each spouse brought to the marriage
Property owned by a spouse before marriage or assets from an inheritance or gift can generally remain in control of that spouse if it was separate from the shared marital assets.
Contact the Family Lawyers at Derek L. Hall, PC to Handle Your Property Distribution Case
Unfortunately, what seems fair to your former spouse might not always seem fair to you. If you are considering divorce or have been served with papers, talk to an experienced Mississippi family law attorney about your situation as soon as possible.
At Derek L. Hall, PC, we can review your situation and help you protect what matters to you. For a confidential case review, contact our office today.