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Division of Assets

Asset and Debt Division

Constructively resolving complex property issues

Division of assets and debts is often one of the most challenging issues in a divorce. Because of the complex considerations involved, even cooperative spouses sometimes have difficulty agreeing on who should get what, particularly when the marital estate includes substantial pre-marital assets, a family business or other non-liquid property. Fortunately, our lawyers at Shilts & Setlak, LLC have over 60 years of combined experience handling the most demanding domestic property division issues. We keep our clients apprised of the many practical issues that go into asset and debt division, effectively negotiate with the other spouse to reach a workable property agreement, and, if necessary, fight to get an equitable distribution for our clients in court.

Why property distribution agreements are preferable

No bright-line rules exist for dividing marital property during a divorce. As a result, court-imposed equitable distribution arrangements are frequently unpredictable and often leave both parties dissatisfied. Fortunately, divorcing couples always have the option of allocating their assets and debt on their own terms and having the resulting agreement incorporated into the divorce decree. Doing so allows the divorce to be more timely concluded, the attorney fees to end, and for direct input by the parties.

Equitable distribution and how courts divide property

If the spouses cannot reach an agreement or if the court does not approve the agreement reached by the parties, it falls to the presiding judge to divide the marital estate. Indiana law provides that a 50/50 division of the marital estate is presumed to be equitable. However, a divorce attorney may argue for unequal distribution based on several factors:

  • Each party’s pre-marital financial condition
  • Each spouse’s contribution to acquiring marital property
  • The extent to which property was acquired before the marriage or through inheritance or gift
  • Each spouse’s future income earning capacity
  • Each spouse’s economic circumstances at the time of distribution
  • Each spouse’s conduct during the marriage as it relates to dissipation of property

Knowledgeable divorce lawyers must keep these factors in mind when negotiating, as well as having a keen insight into what result the parties could reasonably expect at trial. Therefore, property distribution agreements can and should take the above factors into account. When the opposing spouse demands substantially more than he or she could reasonably expect to receive at trial, our attorneys advise our clients accordingly. While we try to avoid litigation whenever possible, we do not allow our clients’ rights to be compromised.

Contact the Fort Wayne law firm with the experience to assist you in dividing your marital estate

Contact our knowledgeable attorneys at Shilts & Setlak, LLC today to discuss the manner in which we recommend your assets be divided.

Our Office
  • Fort Wayne Office
    10311 Dawson's Creek Boulevard
    Suite C
    Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825
    Phone: 260-489-0700
    Fax: 260-497-8954
  • Columbia City Office
    116 N. Main Street
    Columbia City, Indiana 46725
    Phone: 260-271-7200
    Fax: 260-497-8954