In a divorce action, one of the issues to be resolved is the manner in which the assets and debts which arose during the marriage will be divided. Those assets and debts which arose during the marriage are called the marital estate, and, with a few exceptions, any assets acquired, and any debts incurred during the marriage are part of the marital estate. This is true regardless of whether the asset is titled in the parties’ joint names, or only in the name of one of the spouses, or whether the debt was incurred in an individual spouse’s name or in joint names.
Additionally, even if you and your spouse have kept separate bank accounts during the marriage into which you have deposited your respective incomes, that does not cause those accounts to be non-marital, as any income one earns during the marriage from employment or work is also a marital asset.
The starting point for the division of the marital estate is 50/50. That does not mean that each asset would be divided in half (although some might be, such as financial accounts), but that when the value of each assets awarded to each spouse is added up, and any debts each spouse is awarded are deducted, that each spouse is leaving the marriage with approximately the same net worth.
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