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Indiana Marital Property Laws

Indiana is an equitable distribution state. In equitable distribution, all property acquired during the marriage becomes marital property. Unlike most states, Indiana does not recognize separate property during marriage. Indiana is a "whole pot" state. All property owned by both spouses at the start of a marriage becomes marital property (Indiana Code Section 31-15-7-4).

A few states are community property states, which presume that all property acquired during marriage belongs to both spouses. Even these states recognize some separate property as belonging to each state. During a divorce or legal separation, a judge can divide marital assets according to what seems fair rather than whose name is on the title. Indiana divorce laws are unusual—they don’t recognize separate property during marriage.

Combining separate and marital property only applies during a divorce case. Intestate property division follows different rules.

Marital Property vs. Separate Property

Marital property is all property acquired by either party during the marriage. Marital property can include:

  • Wages and passive income, such as rent or interest-bearing accounts
  • Business profits
  • Retirement accounts and military pensions
  • Bank accounts and investment portfolios

In most states, separate property is property owned before the marriage or acquired during the marriage by inheritance, gift, or bequest. In Indiana, a married couple has no separate property during the marriage unless they have a prenuptial agreement specifying some property belonging to the spouse who owns it.

Indiana Property Division

During the divorce process, judges in Indiana place all property in a "marital pot" and divide it equitably. The judge considers each spouse's:

  • Economic needs
  • Current income and earning capacity
  • Contributions to the marriage
  • Tax consequences of property division
  • Length of the marriage
  • Child support obligations

There is a presumption of equal division of marital property, but the economic circumstances of each spouse may require other division of assets. For instance, the spouse awarded primary physical child custody may receive the house, even if the other spouse owns it.

Parties can present relevant evidence to rebut a presumption of equal division of property (Indiana Code § 31-15-7-5). A party can show evidence that:

  • One spouse contributed more or less to the acquisition of property
  • The donor specifically intended the spouse to receive a gift or inheritance and not the marital estate
  • An equal division of the property would cause financial hardship to one spouse
  • One spouse dissipated or wasted marital funds

Note: State laws are subject to change through the passage of new legislation, court rulings (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. FindLaw strives to provide the most current information available. You should consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) before making a legal decision.

Indiana Marital Property Laws: Related Resources

Talk to an Indiana Divorce Lawyer

People rarely think about marital property laws before they get divorced. In Indiana, knowing how these laws apply to your marriage is a good idea. To protect your property rights in Indiana, talk to an experienced family law attorney.

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