When a couple divorces, property rights and obligations must be divided. This process is known as equitable distribution. This is a judicially-ordered division of property rights and responsibilities between the spouses. It can be done through a property settlement, an agreement between the spouses, or by judicial decree. What Is A Divorce And Property Settlement Agreement? A divorce judge has the power to consider many factors when determining the distribution of property during the divorce process. These include the parties' financial and non-financial contributions. Those who provided the contributions initially are likely to get a larger share of the asset splitting in divorce. In addition, non-financial contributions may increase the value of the property. It's essential to ensure that all the facts are disclosed, and that the property settlement is based on a fair and reasonable division of assets. It's important to remember that property settlements can become judgments if they are not reviewed by an experienced attorney. In addition, the property settlement may have tax implications, which make it crucial to consult with an attorney before signing it. The court will consider the concept of gifting when determining how much a spouse can claim as marital property. If Mary had given John a gift of a house when the couple first married, the courts will hold that he or she converted it from separate property to marital property, and this would result in the entire house being divided. It is also important to understand the date of valuation. Some couples will agree to value their assets as of the date of separation or a mutually agreeable date. In other cases, the date of valuation could coincide with the divorce trial.