The way that your assets are divided in your divorce will depend on the state that you are filing in. While some states distribute marital assets equitably, others recognize the legal theory of community property. If you are filing for a divorce in Rhode Island, your marital assets will be subject to equitable distribution.
You may be wondering whether equitable distribution will benefit you financially. The answer to this is not simple, and it will depend on your specific situation. While the purpose of equitable distribution is to maximize fairness in the property division process, many people are dissatisfied with the result.
Factors considered in equitable distribution
The courts may award one spouse with more than 50% of marital assets if they have a lower earning potential, even if their spouse was the main earner. This is because the courts calculate both economic and non-economic contributions to a marriage. Therefore, if a spouse is fully committed to raising the children while the other parent works, the courts will likely decide that they should be awarded a significant portion of assets so that they can continue fufilling their parental responsibilities.
Marital debts will also be divided equitably. For example, if one spouse acquired a significant amount of debt due to gambling and drinking while the other spouse was earning an income, the bulk of the debt will likely be attributed to the spouse responsible. This prevents divorcees from acquiring debt that they were not responsible for.
If you are considering filing for divorce in Rhode Island, you may want to consider how equitable distribution will affect you before moving forward in the process.