Since Indiana is an equitable property division state, the judge’s job is to determine property division, and he can do it any way he wants. Equitable property division does not mean that each spouse will get an equal share of the property.
Property bought into a marriage
Usually, property brought into a marriage remains with the spouse owning it before the couple wed. If the couple decides to put their money in a joint account, often the judge will give each spouse 50% of the total, regardless of what each spouse put into the account on their wedding day.
Inheritance and gifts
Generally, the spouse who receives an inheritance or gift during the marriage gets to keep that property. This becomes more complicated if the couple used the money to buy property or make changes to property. In that case, the judge will use his discretion to decide property division.
Who gets marital property
Once the judge settles these items, he will divide the remaining property. The judge may consider the following:
• Who gets custody of the children
• Who has the best opportunity to provide for themselves in the future
• Who has the best current economic conditions
Tax implications of divorce
Tax planning for divorcing couples can help both sides not owe as much money to the government. For example, instead of asking the judge to decide who should own the family home, leaving it in both names usually saves on taxes. If the judge gives the house to only one person, they will need to pay taxes on the amount between what they paid for the home and its current market value minus the allowable exemption.
Since Indiana is an equitable property division state, the judge decides what happens to property brought into and obtained during the marriage. Consider the tax implications before giving the judge your opinion.