What Are the 50 50 Divorce States?

The laws that apply when a couple files for divorce differ across the US. A significant difference exists between the 50 50 divorce states and those that settle the matter differently. This article sets out to explain what the notion means and how it could apply to your particular case if you're about to terminate your marriage in one of the divorce 50 50 states.

Word highlighted in dictionary.
Are you in one of them?

What Is a 50 50 Divorce?

This legal term denotes that if the spouses can't agree over their property division, the court will assign half to each. But it's not as simple as that. This is just a juridical presumption that is only a base for the jury's decisions. Many parties wonder do assets get split 50/50 in a divorce, but as you'll see below, many factors shape the proceedings, and a divorce 50 50 split can turn into 60 40 split, 70 30, or any other combination for that matter. The primary thing to take into consideration here is how the property was acquired.

A judge and an attorney.
It is a legal principle of property division.

What Is Community Property Division?

The court in 50/50 divorce states presupposes marriage as a joint undertaking, so all assets such as housing, business, benefits, insurance, pension, and alike are considered community property and mutual. Community property calls for a division into equal parts if there's no just reason to reach another verdict.

A crucial notion here is separate property, which is everything a person obtained before marriage and in which the spouse had no role. This is, for example, a property given by relatives, inheritance, and so on. But this can also get more complex if, for instance, your spouse used that money to help you financially, in which case you must in a way indemnify. For this reason, attorneys and courts look into specific instances of each separating couple because the theoretical bases are clear, but real-life scenarios often add to the difficulty.

Two people sitting opposite each other.
If you didn't sign a contract before marriage, a lot of your belongings could be assessed as common property.

What States Are 50 50 in Divorce?

If you wondered how many states require a 50 percent split during a divorce, the answer is 9, and those are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Still, some other legal provisions and practices may differ across these states, which is why the court's decisions sometimes vary significantly even if the same principle was applied.

Some other states such as Alaska use a combination of this principle and the principle of equitable distribution, while others such as Florida go as far as examining the economic fault that is what party brought about the demise of the marriage.

What Factors Can Shift the Balance In Property Division?

The court can decide to award one party with a larger slice of the divorce pie even in states with 50 50 divorce. But to alter the presumption of equal division, there must be a solid reason. Factors that are taken into consideration are:

  • The health of both parties, as well as education and business potential,
  • Who is more involved in raising the children and who is the primary caregiver,
  • The amount of separate property,
  • Whether one spouse contributed to marriage failure,
  • Whether there's ground to grant spousal maintenance to either in case one of the spouses cannot meet minimum reasonable needs.

Length of the Marriage Is Not Decisive in Division

Many people wonder how long do you have to be married to split 50 50, but the thing is that the marriage duration is not at the crux for most disputes. The presumption of equal division is valid from day one, yet the property you acquired together is likely to increase the longer you're married.

Two people signing papers.
Your lawyer can help you understand whether there's ground to believe there'll be a reason for the judge to restrain from the 50 50 principle.

What Is a Marital Settlement Agreement and How Does It Affect the Divided Property When You Separate in 50 50 Divorce States?

If you want to skip the proceedings and agree with your spouse on dividing what you own, you need to find an attorney to draft a marital settlement agreement. This document stipulates that you both agree, and it has more power than the presumption of equality. So, if you agree to the ratio of all to none, for instance, it will be accepted. Rarely do courts disapprove of these and request a trial.

Debt and Marital Agreements in Divorce

The case is different if you incurred debts together or if there are pending debts on some of the property. Usually, if you get hold of some property in debt, you get the debt too. But it depends on the overall debt you ran up during the marriage, how it happened, and other personal factors such as financial status, education, and alike.

Two rings on a paper.
You can agree to any option as long as it is consensual.

Divorce Laws in Texas State

If you wondered what states are not 50/50 in a divorce, you'll be happy to learn that Texas is not one of them. The divorce process in Texas is in accordance with the 50 50 split, and all we have discussed above applies. Still, learning how to file for divorce in Texas requires some patience since all states have their own local practices. The question of how long does a divorce take in Texas is even more complex because, as you probably have concluded by now, all cases differ, and the nuances add to the difference.

A law book and a gavel.
Texas divorce laws are flexible about the 50 50 principle.

How to Make the Process Easier?

If you agreed to resolve everything with your spouse and opt for an uncontested divorce in Texas, the online divorce process could help you suffer less. If you're curious about why to use it, you should know that divorce during covid became widespread due to increased financial stress and health insecurity. Courts are chock-full with parties waiting, and there can be months before you get invited. So, why not read some more about Texas divorce laws and fill out the divorce forms in a matter of hours? Every heartbreak makes it hard to keep the faith, but you don't need paperwork to stress you out additionally.