How is property divided equitably?
In some states, divorce courts will divide the property evenly, right down the middle, regardless of fault. A few other states will divide it evenly, unless fault is a consideration, which may result in an uneven split in favor of the jilted spouse.
However, most states divide the marital property equitably - or, what is most fair and appropriate to each spouse. Equitably certainly doesn’t mean an even split (though it can), it means that the property will be divided fairly, according to a variety of factors. The most common factors used in making an equitable division include: 1) each spouse’s contribution to the marriage (including non-economic factors, such as parenting); 2) each spouse’s contribution to the other’s career potential (including contributing to the education of another spouse), 3) the age and health of each spouse, 4) the needs of each spouse, 5) financial misconduct (including gambling losses or financial waste), 6) present and future economic circumstances of each spouse (including earnings potential, job prospects, and opportunities), and 7) the length of the marriage (the longer the marriage, the better the deal for the less wealth off spouse, in general). In most cases, marital fault is not considered in equitable division.