DIVIDING ASSETS IN DIVORCE
So you have a house and pensions. Your spouse inherited money, and then there are the bank accounts and credit cards. How do you now divide assets in divorce? Do you need an accountant?
Ultimately, the answer depends on the complexity of your “marital estate”, and a number of other factors.
RHODE ISLAND COURTS FOLLOW LAWS FOR DIVIDING ASSETS AND DEBT
The Family Courts in Rhode Island consider certain factors set out in R.I.G.L. 15-5-16.1 when dividing assets in divorce. The factors are as follows:
(1) The length of the marriage;
(2) The conduct of the parties during the marriage;
(3) The contribution of each of the parties during the marriage in the acquisition, preservation, or appreciation in value of their respective estates;
(4) The contribution and services of either party as a homemaker;
(5) The health and age of the parties;
(6) The amount and sources of income of each of the parties;
(7) The occupation and employability of each of the parties;
(8) The opportunity of each party for future acquisition of capital assets and income;
(9) The contribution by one party to the education, training, licensure, business, or increased earning power of the other;
(10) The need of the custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence and to use or own its household effects taking into account the best interests of the children of the marriage;
(11) Either party’s wasteful dissipation of assets or any transfer or encumbrance of assets made in contemplation of divorce without fair consideration; and
(12) Any factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper.
The court will weigh each of these factors and makes its decision.
STEP BY STEP APPROACH
Whether presenting these issues to the court, or working through a settlement with your spouse, follow the following steps. First, you need to determine what assets and debt are in fact marital. Next, those assets that are marital need to be valued. And lastly, and finally, divide the marital estate.