What does it mean that Utah is an equitable distribution state?
Depending on where you live and file for divorce, you are obligated to follow particular state guidelines regarding family law issues like property division. Utah, for instance, is considered an equitable distribution state. That means that the valuation and division of assets in divorce is subject to specific rules and considerations.
According to the Utah Courts, the state does not place a great deal of emphasis on which party serves as the primary source of income during a marriage. Therefore, the assets that you and your soon-to-be ex-husband or wife accumulated during the course of your marriage are generally considered both of yours equally. That assumption plays a major role in property division proceedings, and is at the heart of equitable distribution law.
In equitable distribution, marital property is divided fairly and typically involves the consideration of multiple factors. That does not necessarily mean, though, that marital assets are automatically divided between divorcing parties evenly. If you and your spouse were only married for a relatively short amount of time, for example, your property division agreement may reflect the financial position you were in prior to getting married. A more equal settlement may be appropriate if you were married for an extended amount of time, however.
Equitable distribution also accounts for non-marital property, along with non-marital property that transition into marital property. In the event that your spouse deposited inheritance money into a joint account with you, those non-marital assets could be subject to property division.
Given that equitable distribution does take a large number of factors into consideration, your property division settlement would reflect the unique circumstances of your case. Therefore, the information provided here cannot serve as legal counsel.