Complex property division: More than what you see on the surface

| May 14, 2020 | Divorce |

Every divorce, regardless of the circumstances, involves a variety of high-level decisions about money and finances.

When you decide to file for divorce, you also decide to split your assets and debts. And even if you’re on speaking terms, working through this part of the process has the potential to challenge you in many ways.

Since there’s always more than what you see on the surface, here’s what you should do to prepare:

  • Make a list of all assets and debts: Along with a comprehensive list, determine if an asset or debt is separate or marital. For example, if you owned your motor vehicle before you tied the knot and your name is the only one on the title, it shouldn’t be subject to division in divorce.
  • Calculate the value of your assets: This is where confusion can set in, especially if you attempt to tackle this process on your own. Cash is the only asset that is easy to value. When you get into other types, such as real estate and retirement accounts, you’re faced with a variety of challenges and questions.
  • Decide who will get what: For example, if you’re resolving your divorce in mediation, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will negotiate and compromise on matters related to property and debt division. Equitable division is the goal, so make sure you’re open to compromise. You may not get everything you want, but the right approach at least positions you to be satisfied with the end result.

When it comes to property division, the biggest mistake people make is neglecting to plan for the process. You think you have an idea of what’s to come, but you soon realize that you haven’t touched on everything that’s coming to light.

Once you have a list of your assets and debts, complete with a value attached to each, you can begin to decide who gets what.

While there’s a lot to negotiate in your divorce, you have legal rights that you need to protect at all times. Doing so at every turn of the road will give you peace of mind.