Family Law Attorney in Utah
Asset & Debt Division Specialized Representation Tailored to Your Goals

Asset & Debt Division Attorneys in Salt Lake County

Handling Property Division Cases with Care

A divorce is like severing a contract. Assets and debts must be divided; alimony and child support, if applicable, must be awarded; and child custody must be determined.

Utah divides assets and liabilities equitably – and this does not necessarily mean equally. To protect your interests during a divorce, choose an experienced property division attorney in Salt Lake County. Draper-based Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC is dedicated to helping clients navigate the process of dividing debts and assets.

Contact our office today to schedule your confidential consultation. Call (801) 515-4133.

How Is Property Divided in a Divorce in Utah?

Couples have two types of assets and liabilities: non-marital and marital. Non-marital assets and liabilities are those that a spouse owned before the marriage. Gifted and inherited assets, even if gifted or inherited during the marriage, are also non-marital property.

All other assets and debts are marital and are subject to equitable distribution. Furthermore, commingled assets that belonged to one spouse before the marriage are usually considered marital assets.

For example, if the husband had a bank account with $25,000 in it, added his wife’s name to the account, and then used the account to pay marital debts, the account becomes a marital asset that is divided equitably. In many cases, simply adding a spouse’s name to an account makes it a marital asset subject to equitable distribution. Several factors determine what percentage of each asset is awarded to each spouse.

Factors Affecting Property Division

If you and your spouse cannot amicably divide assets and debts, the court will do it for you. In most cases, it is better that you come to an agreement on the fair and equitable distribution of property. While the court will come to a fair and equitable distribution, you may not get an asset that you want.

When determining how to divide assets equitably, courts consider:

  • How long the parties were married
  • Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage
  • The future needs of each spouse
  • Alimony awards
  • Child custody
  • The health and age of each spouse, which includes employability, potential retirement, and business chances after the divorce
  • The occupation of each spouse, which determines earning power
  • Each spouse’s education as it pertains to employability
  • The non-marital assets of each spouse

Debts are considered in much the same way, but do have some additional parameters:

  • Premarital agreements
  • Real property may be sold, one spouse may buy the other out, or one spouse may keep the marital home in exchange for other assets. If the real property is sold, equity is divided equitably between the spouses. Generally, if one spouse keeps the house, that spouse is responsible for the mortgage. If possible, the mortgage should be refinanced to protect the other spouse.
  • Vehicle payments are generally paid by the spouse who keeps the vehicle. If the parties have two vehicles, each spouse gets one along with the corresponding car payment.

Retirement plans and pension benefits are handled a bit differently. In most cases, if a plan or benefit is considered a marital asset, the person whose name is on the account gets it. However, if the plan or benefit skews the equitable distribution, the court will split it. If only one spouse’s name is on the plan or benefit, the court enters a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) to order the account holder to divide it between the spouses as dictated by the court.

How Is Property Value Determined?

The amount of money a piece of property is worth is defined as a fair and impartial assessment of the property’s value. An accurate evaluation of real property value is determined by a professional real estate appraiser. In general, household items are not included in the division of assets during a divorce unless there are items of significant value. Personal property like furniture, collectibles, and vehicles will be determined by the resale value.

Contact Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC Today

If you need help navigating the property division process, our asset and debt division lawyers in Salt Lake County are just a phone call away. We look forward to protecting your rights and representing you throughout your case.

Reach out to us today at (801) 515-4133.


Real Clients. Real Results. 
  • Gavin S.

    Eric did an awesome job.

  • Mallory H.

    I would definitely refer them to others for any legal needs!

  • Amy Lee

    He is very prompt with his responses to emails and phone calls which makes the process less stressful.

  • Dalisa

    This was all so stress free. I’m extremely great full for Preston and his staff for putting forth all the time to help me out!

  • Bart

    Highly recommend Eric and Preston without reservation. Their fees are more than reasonable and their service more than expected.

  • Nicolle G.

    I have had an absolutely positive experience through and through with them. They’re professional, empathetic, and ethical. I wish ...

  • Thomas M.

    He handled all matters promptly and thoroughly. He cares deeply about his clients and makes sure their needs are fully understood.

  • Jared H.

    All issues were handled in a very timely and transparent manner.

  • Bethany

    He and his office were conscientious about my financial needs and made sure I knew when charges were going to be made, so it ...

  • Logan

    I couldn’t be more pleased with the results and would definitely recommend Eric to anyone looking for a fantastic lawyer and a ...

  • Sean K.

    Working with Eric was a breeze. He addressed my concerns and laid out several options that were unique to my situation.

  • Robin S.

    If it wasn't for Eric and Preston, I wouldn't have gotten custody of my 2 children.

Meet Our Team

Professional. Confident. Approachable.
  • Eric M. Swinyard Photo
    Eric M. Swinyard

    Founding Attorney

    Eric M. Swinyard is a divorce and family law attorney who serves clients throughout the State of Utah. Eric’s practice is primarily focused on providing personalized, high-quality legal services to individuals involved in divorces, paternity actions, adoptions, estate planning, and other family law matters. It’s incredibly easy to be taken advantage of during litigation, especially if you are unrepresented by legal counsel. Protect Your Rights You don’t want to be in a situation where you need ...
  • Ryan  Ficklin Photo
    Ryan Ficklin


    Ryan Ficklin is an associate attorney at Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC. Prior to practicing law in Utah, Ryan practiced family law in Southern California. In 2017, Ryan relocated back to his home state of Utah to focus on serving the people of Utah who need legal representation, particularly in the family law realm. Ryan graduated with honors from California’s Whittier Law School in May of 2015. While in law school, Ryan was a staff member for The Journal of Child and Family Advocacy. Ryan ...
  • Keith L. Johnson Photo
    Keith L. Johnson


    Keith joined Eric M. Swinyard & Associates in Fall 2020, bringing more than a decade of experience as a trial attorney in various types of legal cases. He has successfully guided hundreds of individuals through Utah’s court system. Keith previously worked at an established civil litigation firm in Salt Lake as well as a mid-sized regional law firm. He has substantive experience in a variety of practice areas and is now primarily devoted to serving individuals involved in family law cases. Keith ...
  • Mark  Hales Photo
    Mark Hales


    Mark Hales has over 17 years of legal experience in the areas of family, criminal, and civil law. He handles all types of domestic matters, including custody, divorce, child support, alimony, annulment, termination of parental rights, paternity, modifications, and adoptions. In addition, he defends clients charged with domestic violence and abuse, stalking, violations of protective orders, and other and criminal charges. Mark is a certified mediator for all legal matters and is also a certified ...
  • Justin  Stringfellow Photo
    Justin Stringfellow


    Justin Stringfellow has practiced family law in Utah for 20 years, bringing a wealth of experience to Eric Swinyard & Associates in areas such as divorce, custody, paternity, modifications, child support, and adoption proceedings. In the early years of his career, Justin appeared on an estimated 1,500 Protective Order matters. He is an expert in dealing with abuse and domestic violence components in family law matters. As such, he was distinguished by Utah's Domestic Violence Coalition. Justin ...
  • Eliza  Crespo Photo
    Eliza Crespo


    Eliza Crespo is an associate attorney at Eric Swinyard & Associates. Prior to joining the firm, Eliza practiced estate planning in Utah. Eliza offers a fresh set of eyes to difficult situations and is passionate about providing excellent and compassionate legal services to her clients. Through personal experience, she appreciates the impact of a listening ear and an effective advocate, especially during times of challenge or transition. Eliza obtained her bachelor’s degree and law degree from ...

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