How is property divided after divorce?

Arkansas spouses who face divorce should know how education or careers affect a property division settlement.

People who live in North Little Rock and face a potential divorce have many difficult issues with which to contend. At the heart of many of these issues is money. Finances impact every part of a divorce, from child support to the division of retirement assets. In addition to these, there can be unique factors involved in a property division settlement.

Debts as well as assets are property

One thing that many people need to remember is that a property division agreement involves both the debts and the assets of the couple. Things like mortgages, car loans and balances on joint credit card accounts can all affect the final determination of how property is divided in a divorce.

For some couples, student loan debts might also be included. In general, student loans that were taken out before a couple was married are considered to be the separate property of that particular spouse. When one spouse goes to school when married and takes out loans to fund that education, the loan usually remains separate property, however, if the money obtained was used for family living expenses, the loans can become marital property.

This means that both spouses may have to contribute to repaying the loans in some fashion. One way that this could happen is through support payments from the non-loan holding spouse to the spouse in whose name the loan was taken.

Valuing future income based upon education

Student loans aside, a higher education can impact a property division agreement because of the higher future income that the person can expect to earn. This can be due to education that happened before or during a marriage. The Huffington Post notes that a dental, medical, financial or other professional practice can be valued as a marital asset, however, this is only true if the marital estate contributed significantly to the acquisition of the education and professional practice. The value of that asset can be split in a divorce, although the asset itself cannot.

The use of vocational experts

Forbes indicates that many couples utilize vocational experts to help identify the value of an education or a career when getting divorced. These professionals look at not only the cost of the education or the current earnings but also the overall employment market and future potential. Both spousal and child support can be impacted by these factors.

Many couples in Arkansas need to evaluate education and careers when getting divorced. Because of the complexities involved, it is always recommended to work with an experienced lawyer through the process.