When couples make the decision to get a divorce, typically one spouse will move out of the marital home. When this happens, couples tend to separate property so they may both have what they need to live separately. Generally speaking, if how they divided their property is in line with how it would be split in family court, the division of property will stay the same. However, occasionally the family court will choose to divide property differently, and when this happens, property that one spouse thought was theirs may actually belong to their ex.
During the divorce process, marital property is not considered individual property until the family court judge awards it to one person. In regards to the contents of a home such as furniture or appliances, one spouse may be using it, but does not actually own it individually, until it is awarded to them.
For divorcing couples, it is crucial to understand that property subject to division should not be sold, given away, or destroyed until they know who it belongs to. While it is likely that the family court will approve a property division that is agreed upon by the divorcing spouses, in cases where the division of property is obviously unfair, a family court has the authority to change it.
Even in the most simple of divorce cases, elements such as property division can be complex. Many couples may wish to seek the help of an attorney when drafting a marital settlement agreement. With their help, divorcing couples may be able to better plan for a property division agreement that will be seen as fair by the family court.