One of the questions that inevitably comes up in a divorce is how marital property will be divided between the spouses. This may be a complicated and sometimes disputed process. At the Hancock Law Firm, our Jackson divorce lawyers are knowledgeable in this area of the law and can put their experience to use in helping people throughout the Madison, Rankin, and Hinds County area. You can rest assured that our family law attorneys can zealously advocate for your rights in an effort to make sure that you preserve control over the assets that you are rightfully entitled to retain.Understanding the Property Division Process
The first step in resolving any property division issue is categorizing property as either marital property or non-marital property. Typically, any property acquired during the course of the marriage is considered marital property and is subject to division at the time of the divorce. This often includes houses, real estate, and cars, as well as checking, savings, and retirement accounts. Non-marital or separate property generally includes property that one spouse owned prior to the marriage, as well as any property acquired by gift, legacy, or descent. Separate property is not subject to division at the time of the divorce.
Mississippi is an equitable distribution state, which means that the division of marital assets will be fair but not necessarily equal. When making a property division determination, the judge is free to consider a broad range of factors, such as the length of the marriage, the contributions of each spouse during the marriage, each spouse’s earning potential, the market value and emotional value of the assets, the value of each spouse’s separate property, tax consequences, and any other factor that in equity should be considered. A related point to bear in mind is that Mississippi allows a spouse to retain property for which they have title.
As mentioned earlier, retirement plans are subject to division at the time of the divorce. As a practical matter, however, it is often not possible to divide a plan or split up the plan assets exactly at the time of the divorce. This is because retirement plans are often subject to certain limitations regarding when they may be cashed out and when they may vest. In these instances, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) may be needed to make sure that each spouse obtains their fair share when the plan does mature or become payable.Seek Guidance from a Divorce Lawyer in Jackson
The way that property is divided during a divorce may have long-lasting consequences for your loved ones and you. At the Hancock Law Firm, our dedicated Jackson divorce attorneys can work meticulously to assert your rights to the fullest possible extent. We understand that a divorce is a challenging process, and we are committed to providing each client with compassionate representation. We can assist people in Madison, Ridgeland, Clinton, Flowood, Brandon, Flora, Yazoo City, Carthage, and Vicksburg, as well as other Mississippi communities. Call us at 601-853-2223 or contact us online to set up an appointment with our team.