Community property: distribution of assets and liabilities in Idaho
Idaho is one of nine community property states in the nation. In Idaho, all the property of a married person is classified as either community property or the separate property of one spouse. Community property is property owned equally by both spouses. Separate property is property that the spouse owned prior to the marriage or was acquired afterward by either by gift, bequest (from a will), devise or descent, or that was acquired with the proceeds of his or her separate property.
At divorce, community property is generally divided equally between the spouses, while each spouse keeps his or her separate property.
The parties must determine how to best divide their community assets and liabilities themselves or the court will do it for them. The easiest way for the court to do this is to order the sale of all the community assets and for the parties to split either the profits or loss of the sales. For this reason, it’s often best for the parties to find their own solution outside of court.
Debts are treated the same as assets, in that they must also be split between the parties. The division of such property and assets must be split substantially equal, which doesn’t always mean 50/50, but it must be substantially equal and equitable.
There are three steps to start the process in distributing assets and liabilities:
- determine whether the property (or debt) is community or separate
- determine values for community property, and
- decide how to divide the property.
Military retirement pay is also considered marital property and subject to division in a divorce. Specifically, the disposable retired pay is treated as martial property. Disposable retired pay is the service member’s retired pay less qualified deductions. Courts treat military retired pay the same as it would a civilian pension plan. Additional questions about division of military retired pay during a divorce can be found here.