This part of marriage dissolution is often the most straightforward phase of a divorce, provided the couple has a premarital agreement. Most Hawaii County enforces these pacts unless they are glaringly one-sided or both spouses did not have independent Kamuela divorce lawyers.
In the country’s few community property states, property division is usually rather straightforward as well. The judge needs little more than a calendar and a calculator to split property according to the law.
But Hawaii is an equitable distribution state. Marital property must be divided according to a number of factors. So, unless there is a premarital agreement, Kamuela divorce lawyers often spend most of their time on this part of marriage dissolution.
Classifying Marital and Nonmarital Property
Before they divide property, Kamuela divorce lawyers must classify it as marital or nonmarital. The general rule is not hard to follow. Property acquired before the marriage or by gift is non-marital property. Everything else is marital property subject to division.
However, this general rule does not apply very well to many real-world situations. For example, spouses routinely use money from their paychecks to pay their student loans, even though that means they paid nonmarital debts with marital assets.
Things get even more complicated if, as is often the case, there is a family business. For example, the Wife might serve as the unpaid office manager of the Husband’s dental office. His business was certainly nonmarital property before the marriage, but after that, the lines are blurry.
To address issues like these, Kamuela divorce lawyers often partner with forensic accountants and other professionals. That makes a time-consuming process even more lengthy, but it is critical to get things right the first time. Measure twice and cut once, as the old woodworker’s saying goes.
Splitting Property and Kamuela Divorce Lawyers
Property division involves splitting property rights and obligations between the divorcing spouses. It is also known as equitable distribution. The division may either be mutually agreed upon by spouses through a property settlement or may be decided in court through the legal divorce process.
Property division is complex and is affected by state laws such as community property laws, marital contributions, and more. An experienced Kamuela divorce lawyer will be able to guide you through the maze and figure out the nitty-gritty.
As Hawaii is an equitable distribution state, the assets acquired before and during the marriage are subject to division post the divorce. Hawaiian courts also consider factors such as non-monetary contributions, payment towards partner’s education, and economic misconduct, among others. Further, even though divorce is not granted on the basis of fault in Hawaii, a judge may consider fault during the division of property, especially in the case of misconduct, such as drug use or gambling.
Kamuela divorce attorneys know that there is no one-size-fits-all formula to decide what’s equitable. We work with individual case facts and circumstances to arrive at the most helpful and desirable solutions for each client.
Resolving Property Division Disputes
Not every divorce matter needs to go to court. Divorces can be resolved through negotiations between the divorcing couple in the presence of an attorney. This involves the use of out-of-court alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings to arrive at a voluntary settlement.
More often than not, divorce cases are resolved before going to a judge or jury through ADR processes such as mediation and arbitration.
We understand that a rise in the number of couples opting for mediation for resolving their divorce-related issues indicates that the role of attorneys is undergoing a change. They no longer just represent their clients in court proceedings but are also acting as legal coaches, advisers, and consultants in the divorce mediation process.
As competent Kamuela divorce lawyers, we are well-versed in all types of ADRs and will facilitate the one that’s most appropriate for your case.
Call Kamuela Divorce Attorney Today to Settle Your Property Division
Divorce cases can be complex. Issues such as division of marital property and retirement plans, spousal and child support, as well as child custody need to be handled with expertise, assertiveness, and compassion. At Olson and Sons, L.C., we are committed to helping you achieve the most suitable resolution for your divorce issues. Our professional legal team will fight to protect your rights and uphold your best interests. Call us at 808-885-8533 to speak to an experienced Kamuela Divorce attorney. We are proficient in handling divorce matters in Hawaii County and nearby jurisdictions.