During a divorce, what was formerly referred to as “ours” becomes “his” and “hers.” While you may simply agree not to live together, what happens to the possessions you’ve worked so hard to obtain? Dividing marital assets may be one of the most difficult aspects of a divorce. Learn how to split property properly and make your divorce go more smoothly.
Dividing marital assets is one of the most onerous jobs that divorced spouses confront. However, if you and your soon-to-be ex can agree on sharing some of the most often disputed assets, you may be able to make the divorce go more easily.
In love and divorce, everything is fair but not equal.
Divorcing a home, automobiles, assets, precious collectibles, retirement benefits, and household things may be challenging for couples. Before granting a divorce, all assets must be split in a manner that is acceptable to both parties.
Because state laws differ, it’s important to grasp your state’s specific regulations on assets in a divorce. In community property jurisdictions, for example, spouses maintain ownership of whatever acquired before to marriage, even an inheritance. While all states have implemented legislation governing the equitable division of marital property, keep in mind that equitable distribution is not necessarily equal.
Make a list and double-check it.
The first step in a divorce proceeding is to compile a comprehensive list of all assets. The easiest solution is for couples to create an honest and fair list jointly. The home or any joint property (land, a vacation home, a lake cabin, etc.), all vehicles, bank accounts (including full balances), securities (stocks, bonds, money market accounts, CD’s), valuable collectibles (a restored classic vehicle, antique collections, coin collections), household items (furniture and appliances), and retirement plans must all be listed. Boats and other recreational vehicles are examples of joint-owned products.
If at all possible, play nicely.
If couples can agree on a list, they may avoid the costly and time-consuming procedure of a court deciding asset allocation. To reach an agreement, spouses often speak via their respective lawyers. A property split agreement may be drafted and a simple divorce issued if couples can reach an agreement themselves or with the aid of lawyers.
When partners do not agree on property allocation, disputes might ensue. In this instance, a third party must be involved in order to reach an agreement. Divorce mediators or divorce lawyers might be engaged to manage the process. Attorneys may examine the spouses, obtain documents (such as deeds), and collect depositions from others to establish ownership, or submit a formal disclosure request to identify what property is involved. While formal disclosures are comprehensive, they take time and may delay down a divorce.
Ninety percent of divorces in the United States nowadays are handled without a trial using property partition agreements. Some spouses may need to negotiate to achieve a final agreement, but if at all feasible, this is the most efficient and cost-effective way to settle assets. When settling property distribution concerns, many crucial aspects must be addressed.
How to Split a Home and a Car
Choosing which partner will keep the family home is often a key concern. If there are children involved, courts will often award the house to the parent who has main physical custody of the children, but this is not a guarantee that the property will be awarded to the spouse who has primary physical custody.
Vehicles are another point of contention in many divorce procedures. Contrary to popular assumption, automobiles and other property are not always given to the spouse who has exclusive ownership. Even though a car is held only by one spouse, it may still be considered communal or marital property. The first rule of thumb in deciding vehicle distribution is to understand the vehicle’s worth. This information may be discovered in automotive industry Blue Books or by contacting a few trustworthy used automobile dealers. Leased autos may be worthless.
Household belongings and precious collections should be divided in accordance with the couples’ wishes. Although the dispute over who should get an antique piece of furniture may seem heated to the people involved, it is better for both couples’ interests to resolve division without outside involvement.
The Most Difficult Dividends – Retirement Benefits and Family Businesses
Another point of disagreement in many divorces is retirement benefits. Many working spouses feel that retirement benefits and plans are solely owned by the person, but this is not necessarily the case. Retirement benefits may be deemed marital property, with the other spouse entitled to a share of the payout or value. If there is a retirement plan involved, it is preferable to have an attorney draught a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) form that will assist decide who gets what from the plan.
Family-owned enterprises provide some of the most difficult property partition difficulties. The worth of the company, both now and in the future, must be evaluated. Most small enterprises held jointly by two couples may be separated amicably. A buy out arrangement, in which one spouse buys out the part held by the other spouse, is one option. The business is given to one spouse, while the other gets cash recompense. Payments from a co-owned firm might be spread out over time to ensure that both couples benefit from any financial success. Separation provisions, in which different aspects of the company are assigned to each spouse, are also an option. Some spouses may be allowed to continue working as business partners after a divorce, although this is uncommon.
The best divorce is one in which the assets are divided in a manner that benefits both spouses. Property distribution agreements may expedite the divorce process while also keeping communication lines open, which is critical for couples who share custody of small children. Cooperation and a desire to be fair are the keys to a pleasant asset split. To safeguard all parties, specific information within each state should be obtained from a licenced attorney.
Your marital property will not survive the divorce intact, but it will not be destroyed either. The better you can collaborate with your soon-to-be ex, the more you can both keep.