Divorces can be incredibly complicated, and the division of assets can be the most painful part. Chances are that if something is valuable to you, it will also have some value to your spouse. There is also the fact that dissolving a marriage is an emotional thing that can turn the division of assets into a game of revenge. Knowing what you are entitled to is essential. It may also help you talk to your attorney about what you want to keep and how you can go about achieving that goal.
Division of Assets
Division of assets can be the most difficult part of a divorce. This is especially true if there is a house or rental property involved. The same is also true of stock, compensation, brokerage accounts, businesses, and licenses. But, a divorce that turns into a battle can become that much more of a complication.
While the monetary value of items is needed during this process, that isn’t the only thing to think about. There is also a certain amount of consideration for how the asset will play out for in the future and pertaining to both your goals for then and now. You want to think about the cost, taxes, and liquidity of all assets.
Separate Property is specified according to your state’s laws, so the actual definition and parameters may be different. However, the generally accepted concepts are:
Property that either spouse owned before the marriage. Chances are that if you owned the house prior to the marriage, you will own it after. If you came into the marriage with a Tiffany Lampshade, you will likely walk out with it. The property must have documentation showing that it is yours and the date you acquired it.
The inheritance that either spouse received. Regardless of whether you were married while an inheritance was received, it is very rare that you are made to part with it. If you suffered a loss and were left a gift as a result, you will keep it during and after the divorce. This can be shown in the documentation that named you the person to acquire the inheritance.
Again, if someone gave you something, it doesn’t matter whether they are your spouse or not. You received the gift, you will keep it. If you received it as a couple, that is a different story. That becomes marital property. But, if your mother gives you her ring that is yours. If your spouse receives a vintage car from his dad, that remains his.
Payment received for a settlement. If you personally received money from personal injury, you will keep it. It is a payout to you and something that you receive for your pain and suffering, which is not necessarily your spouse’s as well. Since the settlement is a way to pay for any medical costs, injuries, or counseling needs, you keep it.
The title is the same. If you have a car or a home, it is yours and in your name. However, if you retitle the document to share it with your spouse it becomes marital property. It is now something that belongs to both parties through the marriage. This happens very often with bank accounts. A checking or savings account that was yours, but you change to a joint checking with your spouse, is now marital property. Any account that is only in your name from before the marriage and stays that way after it, remains yours to keep.
Usually, any property that the couples acquire during the marriage is marital property. In these cases, it doesn’t matter who owns the property or how the documents show the title. This means that if your spouse acquires assets during the marriage, you could receive a portion of them during the divorce. They were acquired during the marriage, and the court will decide how they are divided. The division of assets is never an easy thing. Someone will always lose in this game.
Remember that state laws vary in the division of assets. You will want to be sure you speak with someone who not only has experience in divorces but the financial side of those things as well. They will be able to let you know, with certainty, what is marital property and what is not. They will also be able to talk to you about what you may or may not get to keep after the divorce. This isn’t something you want to just take anyone’s word on. It requires a firm understanding of the law. You want someone who has experience with the division of assets to explain it to you. Their years of experience will work for you. You can start your search here.