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How does spousal contribution impact property division?

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2023 | Family Law

During a Mississippi divorce, the spouses often dispute many issues. While the most emotional and concerning issues are related to children concerning custody, support and parenting time coming to the forefront, there are other aspects that also need attention.

Specifically, people will think about how their property will be divided as part of the case. Since divorces can be complicated and contentious, it is important to have professional help from the beginning.

Is spousal contribution an essential part of dividing property?

Mississippi law does not specifically address property division, but there are cases that are used to come to a fair determination as to which person will get what. The objective is to reach a fair outcome through equitable distribution. That does not mean the property will be split down the middle as it would be in a community-property state.

Depending on how the property was acquired, those who earned the bulk of the income in the marriage and paid for property that was accrued assume that they get to keep it after the divorce. However, that is not always true. Contributions to how the property was acquired may be considered and the situation may change.

The court will consider the direct and indirect financial contributions to acquiring the property. Additionally, there are factors beyond the financial aspect that are considered. The two spouses’ ability to create harmony and stability in the marriage as well as how other family duties are handled will also be considered.

One person might have played a supportive role in the other gaining skills and the ability to earn an income that helped significantly with acquiring the property. One example might be a person who served as a homemaker and stay-at-home parent to let the other attend law school, medical school, business school or another institute of higher learning. They could have given the other person freedom to build a business without worrying about what was going on at home.

Dividing property is not always simple and people should have professional help

Every situation is assessed based on its merits and those who were financially responsible for garnering the property or a person who contributed in other ways should have assistance in trying to reach a fair outcome. This could involve a marital home, a business, automobiles, sentimental items, bank accounts, investments and more. Asking for help from the start can be key with property division and other areas of family law.