In recent years, children have increasingly been called upon to be witnesses in their parents' divorce proceedings. In some contested fault-based divorces, children have supplied testimony as to cruelty or adultery by one of the spouses. In other instances, children have been a part of custody matters, including offering testimony as to being poorly supervised by one of their parents and as to any neglectful conditions in the family home.
One important factor in property division in divorce is the date of valuation of the spouses' assets and liabilities for purposes of dividing marital property. The courts must consider the date of valuation in order to establish a consistent basis for determining a fair distribution of marital property. Fixing values for different assets and liabilities at different times can affect the true value of assets and liabilities that a spouse receives.
Generally, the concepts of equitable distribution and community property distribution in divorce cases do not apply to property that a spouse inherits from a third party during marriage. Ordinarily, property that a spouse inherits from a third party during marriage is considered that spouse's separate property. Inheritance includes acquisition through wills, trusts, probate, or intestacy.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements refer to agreements made between the spouses before and after marriage, respectively. Among other things, these contracts enable the spouses to define their respective property rights, which can be very helpful in cases of divorce or legal separation.
In common law equitable distribution states, the general presumption is that workers' compensation is treated as marital property if acquired during the marriage. In pure community property jurisdictions, it is treated as community property if acquired during marriage and as separate property if it is acquired before marriage or after marriage dissolution.