What Is a Non-Monetary Contribution to Marriage?
- Why non-monetary contributions matter in divorce
- Examples of non-monetary contributions
- Valuation of these contributions
Calculating a fair split of marital property and spousal support in the divorce process can be tricky when one spouse makes contributions to the marriage that don’t involve cash but are still valuable. In such cases, it’s important to recognize the value of these contributions so there can be a reasonable division of marital assets in divorce.
Why non-monetary contributions to a marriage matter in divorce
When it comes to property division and spousal support, non-monetary contributions made over the course of the marriage are often considered. Non-financial contributions such as homemaking, parenting, and other services rendered by one partner can be just as valuable as the financial investments they make in a marriage. These contributions should be considered when dividing assets or determining the appropriate level of spousal support.
Examples of non-monetary contributions
In a scenario where one spouse gives up their career to stay home and raise the kids, they may be entitled to spousal support that allows them to maintain the lifestyle they had prior to the divorce. This could take into account factors such as cost of living, childcare costs, educational expenses, and other necessary expenses the individual would have been able to provide for themselves if they had continued their career.
If one spouse puts in long hours at a job while the other devotes time and energy toward taking care of minor children and the family home, both partners should be fairly compensated for their contributions during the divorce proceedings. The partner who stayed home could receive spousal support if appropriate, as well as having an equal share in any jointly owned assets, such as real estate.
One spouse may have provided emotional support throughout the marriage that was invaluable, even though it had no measurable tangible value. In such cases, courts may still recognize this contribution and factor it into the division of assets and the determination of spousal support payments.
A spouse who did not work outside the home during marriage may be entitled to alimony in divorce. The precise amount depends on several factors, including the length of the marriage, economic circumstances, and the non-working spouse’s earning potential.
Who decides the value of non-monetary contributions?
In an ideal situation, the couple would be able to reach an agreement based on their own input and understanding of what is fair in terms of a monetary award for the spouse who maid unpaid contributions. This can be done without the help of a third party.
However, if needed, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) or mediator can provide assistance in determining a reasonable settlement that takes into account any non-monetary contributions made by either partner during the marriage.
Ultimately, it may fall to the courts for a judge to weigh all relevant information and arrive at a decision regarding spousal support and property division.
In addition to convenient and affordable online divorce plans, Hello Divorce provides services such as mediation and divorce financial planning. Interested in learning more? We welcome you to schedule a free 15-minute call.