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Division Of Marital Assets In Mississippi

Property Division Will Determine Your Financial Foundation

Our Experienced Mississippi Divorce Attorney Will Protect Your Financial Interests

Dividing marital assets following a divorce can become contentious. Parties may wish to exact revenge or release some of their anger through this process. However, as with child custody matters, it is generally advisable to reach agreement on the division of marital property through negotiation and compromise rather than litigation. Going to trial can be costly. As foolish as it sounds, it is common for parties to dissolve a large percentage of their assets arguing over who should receive them.

Enlisting the services of a lawyer who is experienced with the division of assets in a Mississippi divorce is essential to protecting your rights. At The Waldrop Firm, P.C., we work to reach agreement on property division matters outside of court, yet we are always prepared to litigate if a fair agreement cannot be reached.

Identifying And Properly Valuing Marital Property

Under Mississippi law, there are two types of property in a divorce case:

Marital property is any property acquired or accumulated during the course of the marriage by a spouse's efforts. It includes personal possessions, real property and money, and is subject to equitable division.

Separate property is any property owned by a spouse prior to the marriage. In addition, gifts and inheritances received during the marriage are considered separate property provided the assets are not commingled with your marital assets. Whether a gift was made to one or both spouses is determined by the donor's intent and title to the asset.

Properly categorizing property as marital or separate is one of the most common and contentious aspects of property division in a Mississippi divorce. We are prepared to help you protect your rights in this regard in order to provide you the strongest financial foundation possible following divorce.

What Is Equitable Distribution?

Once the assets have been identified as either marital property or separate property, the court will divide the assets in a manner that is deemed "equitable." This does not mean everything is split 50-50. Rather, the court is charged with dividing assets in a manner that it determines fair. In doing so, it considers a number of factors, including:

  • The contribution of each spouse to the accumulation of marital property, including direct and indirect contributions to the stability of the marriage
  • Each spouse's waste or disposal of marital property
  • Each spouse's financial status and need for financial security
  • The market value and the sentimental value of each asset to be divided
  • The value of each spouse's separate property
  • The tax or economic consequences of the division of property

The court may order that certain property be sold and the money received be divided in a manner the court feels is fair. This often happens when the husband and wife cannot agree on who keeps certain items.

In considering the interests and needs of the parties and custody of any minor children, the court may grant possession of the marital residence to the parent who has custody of the minor children and order it sold when the youngest child turns 21. Alternatively, it may award the residence to the custodial parent and offset the equity of the marital residence against other property.

Your Financial Security Is At Stake

If the marital property includes retirement accounts, pensions, investment real estate or second homes, a family-owned business or a stake in a professional partnership (such as a physician, attorney or accountant), valuing and dividing marital assets become even more complex.

Enlisting the services of an experienced attorney is essential to starting your post-divorce life in a strong financial position. Call or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. We are happy to answer your questions and provide you with a candid assessment of what you can expect.