When your divorce goes to court, a judge will decide the best way to divide your and your spouse’s property. But when you have assets like an inheritance or a business that you consider separate property, you may worry that you will lose half to your spouse.

While a court can divide any assets that either of you own, Indiana law doesn’t require that judges split everything in two equal parts. Instead, they decide how to split your assets in a way that is fair to each of you.

Indiana’s laws about division of property

If you consider some of your assets separate from the marriage, you may not want to give up any part of those.

For example, you may have started a business before you married and spent your life making it successful. Or your parent may have passed away, leaving you with a considerable inheritance. Since you alone received the benefits of these assets, you may not want to give up half of them to your spouse. Are you required to do so?

However, unlike many states, Indiana doesn’t recognize separate or marital property. A divorce court can divide anything that either of you owns.

The court will consider multiple factors in how the couple obtained and maintained the asset and how its division will affect each spouse after the divorce.

You may be able to argue for a larger share in certain assets

When the court rules on the division of property, the law does allow for equitable distribution. Instead of cutting everything in half, judges can give an unequal share that they consider justified. So, it is still possible that you will keep or receive a larger share of an asset that you personally acquired. You can increase these chances if you can prove you contributed more to making that asset valuable.

Divorce leaves you with fewer assets than you had during your marriage but if you have property that is important to you, you may be able to convince the judge to keep it separate from other marital assets.