When you got married to your spouse, you planned to build a new life together. You co-mingled your belongings and agreed that everything that once was “mine” is now “ours.” Until, that is, one or both of you decide to get a divorce.
When you go through divorce proceedings, itʻs fair to wonder how exactly the court will help you disentangle and divide your marital property. Wisconsin is a community property state. This means that aside from assets you personally received as a gift or inheritance, or, in certain circumstances, assets that belonged to you prior to the marriage, everything is considered martial property and subject to equal division between you.
Courts could make exceptions to community property law
Marital property doesn’t just include real estate, vehicles, furniture, jewelry and other material goods. It also includes debts, investment accounts, retirement accounts and pensions. Although in general, the courts will consider each party to have one half interest in the community property, there are some factors that could alter this distribution, including:
- How long you were married
- What property was brought into the marriage by each party
- Whether one party has significantly more assets not subject to division
- The financial and physical contribution of each party to the marriage and caring of the home and family
- The age and mental and physical health of each party
- The earning potential, employment skills, work experience and highest obtained education level of each party
- Spousal maintenance determinations made during the divorce proceedings
- Any written agreements made between parties prior to or during the marriage
If you’re concerned that you will lose half of your pension to your spouse, it’s important to build a strong case of why they might not be entitled to it given all the relevant information. Working with someone experienced in Wisconsin family law can help you safeguard your investment interests as you begin to look toward your post-divorce future.