If you are thinking about filing for divorce in Jackson or are in the process of getting divorced, you probably have questions about property distribution. Property distribution involves, as it sounds, the distribution of marital property. Marital property includes both debts and assets of the marriage. Title 93 of the Mississippi Code governs divorce and alimony matters in Jackson, Mississippi. When it comes time for the court to divide marital property, what considerations will it use in distributing marital assets and marital debts?
This is an important question, and it is one that you should discuss with a Jackson asset and debt division attorney. The distribution of marital property can be extremely complicated and contentious, and it is important to have an advocate on your side who can ensure that your voice is heard. At the law office of Derek L. Hall, PC, our experienced Jackson asset & debt division attorneys provide individualized attention to every case, and we are committed to assisting residents of the Jackson area.
How Does Property Distribution Work in Mississippi?
In Mississippi, courts divide marital property based on a theory of “equitable distribution.” This means that the court will examine all of the marital assets and debts and will divide them in a manner that is equitable, or fair, to both of the spouses. In some situations, it may equitable to divide assets and debt equally. However, it is important to recognize that “equitable” does not necessarily mean “equal.” To be sure, the court can look to many different factors in deciding what is fair to both parties.
Separate Versus Marital Property
When the court divides property, it is also important to recognize that the court only distributes “marital property,” and it will not distribute “separate property” or take it into account. What is the difference between marital property and separate property? Sometimes it is easy to determine what assets and debts are separate. For instance, if one of the following applies, the court may determine that the property is separate and thus not subject to division:
- Acquired before the marriage;
- Acquired during the marriage through an inheritance expressly for the use of only the spouse inheriting it;
- Acquired during the marriage as a gift expressly for the use of only the spouse receiving it; and
- Specified in a prenuptial agreement as separate property.
There are other situations in which assets and debts may be classified as separate property, as well, and you should always discuss your case with a Jackson asset and debt division attorney. Where property division tends to become more complicated is in situations where one spouse put separate assets toward the development of a marital asset (such as a separate inheritance that the spouse used to improve the family home), or where one spouse’s separate property increased in value as a result of both spouses’ attention to it (such as separate property invested and managed by both spouses).
In general, this kind of complicated situation tends to involve property that has been “commingled”—a situation where separate property is mixed, essentially, with marital property. Sometimes the court can sort this out, but it is always a good idea to have experienced counsel on your side.
Contact a Jackson Asset & Debt Division Attorney
Property distribution in a divorce is complicated, but an experienced Jackson asset and debt division attorney can assist you. Contact Derek L. Hall, PC to discuss your case. If you want it all, you ought to call Hall.