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How is equitable property division decided?

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2024 | Divorce

If you are going through a divorce, you will need to divide your property according to Mississippi law. The court’s goal is to divide the property equitably, but that does not always mean equally. It focuses on what is fair to each party.

Divorce process

The first step in the divorce process is to file a complaint in the county where either spouse lives. The spouse who files must give the other spouse a copy of the divorce paperwork, but the service does not have to be in person. You or your spouse can do this through a process server.

The spouse who is served will have an opportunity to respond and if there are issues such as child support or spousal support, the court may issue temporary orders. The spouses will need to exchange financial information.

Factors considered

The court will consider factors that are specific to your situation to equitably distribute the property, however there are some general guidelines to be aware of. It will likely review each spouse’s financial and non-financial contributions to the marriage. The non-financial contributions may include household work and childcare responsibilities. Also, depending on the length of the marriage, it may be appropriate to award more property to the lower-earning spouse.

Other factors include the age, health and earning capacity of each spouse and whether each spouse has debt and if so, how much. Outstanding debt is divided equitably between the spouses.

Once the property division is complete and all issues have been resolved, the court will issue a final decree of divorce.