Men's property rights in divorce

Written by timothy burns
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Men's property rights in divorce
Divorce property settlements rarely result in an equal distribution of assets. (Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Because women are generally seen as the caretaker for young children, men often have difficulty receiving equitable income and property settlements in divorce courts. While the legal guidelines for property distribution include the term 'equitable distribution', this does not mean property will be divided according to a 50/50 split. Numerous factors, which shouldn't favour the man or the women, are involved when considering the property distribution percentages of divorcing spouses.

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Nonmarital Property

Nonmarital property, or property purchase and owned by one party prior to the marriage, is often excluded from property distribution settlements during divorce. Regardless of how these details affect the equality in outcome, if one spouse brought significant property into the marriage relationship with them, these items can be excluded from divorce property settlements.

Partner's Earning Power

Earning power also is taken into consideration when determining divorce property settlements. If one spouse has significantly more earning power than the other, the higher earning spouse is likely to receive less of the communal property as the two partners take different directions.

Purchase and Ownership

Possessions purchased jointly during a marriage are generally considered equally possessed by both parties. This means that in a relationship where both spouses have comparable incomes and are willing to equally share any parental financial responsibilities for younger children, possessions and jointly purchased property are likely to be divided equally. If it can be demonstrated that specific properties were purchased and used by one party or the other, it's possible that this property can be excluded from divorce settlement proceedings.

Possession and Ownership

Possession is still nine-tenths of the law. In divorce proceedings, a spouse who moves out of the marital home is likely to receive less consideration during property settlement proceedings. An absent spouse demonstrates her ability to support herself and, therefore, the property is bestowed to the spouse in possession of and more dependent upon the marital assets.

The Children's Well-Being

The children's well-being is weighed highly when considering divorce property settlements. The court wants the minor children to be well-cared for financially and materially, so if one parent is the primary caregiver for any minor children, the property settlement will likely favour this partner over the nonresident parent.

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