It is a legal principle followed by most states, under which assets and earnings acquired during marriage are divided equitably (fairly) at divorce. Some states start with the presumption that equitable means equal, but the court is not required to divide assets equally. In some states, a spouse who is guilty of “fault” actions like adultery may receive less than an equal share, and other factors may contribute to an unequal distribution that is still considered equitable and fair.

There are two ways to classify how property is owned during a marriage and before divorce. In a few states, each spouse has an equal and immediate ownership interest in whatever “community property” is acquired during the marriage. Most states, however, follow a different approach and allow each spouse to buy or acquire property in his or her name alone, and the other spouse has no ownership interest in the property. Equitable Distribution is a three step process conducted by the court when spouses are unable to divide property on their own. For sound and supportive advice and representation, Perlmutter Law Firm.