Property division during divorce can be one of the most complex aspects of your divorce. Here are a few first steps you can take.
Property Division in Divorce:
- You’ll want to first identify and list out all property and debts. Think about everything – down to small credit cards you haven’t used in years. You’ll want to list all assets and debts as well as all the financial information that relates to those assets and debts.
- You’ll next need to identify the property and assets as either “community property” or “separate property.” Community property is generally defined as all property acquired during the marriage. Separate property is typically any property acquired by either party prior to marriage and after the separation. There are several exceptions that an attorney can walk you through. During a marriage, both spouses can access and manage the community property assets. And during divorce, a judge can divide the couple’s community property.
- Lastly, you’ll need to assign values to community property and separate property. A neutral appraiser can be called in to help with this, as they will not have any emotional attachments that may cause them to appraise an item at higher than face value.
Disputes Over Property Division
While a couple is free to come to a decision regarding the division of their property, often times couples have issues doing so. For this reason, you are able to go before a judge to help in the decision. During the divorce process community property is generally divided equally between the spouses. This does not mean physical division. Rather, a court will award each spouse a percentage of the total value of property. Each spouse will then receive property, assets, and debts in the amount of his or her percentage. Each spouse is able to retain his or her separate property.
Working with an Attorney
Property division can be a contentious area of a divorce, especially if there are many large assets to be divided. Working with a family law attorney can help ensure you receive a fair settlement should you need to go to court.
For advice on divorce, you need the expert law firm of Korol and Velen, certified family law specialists. Schedule a consultation today.