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What You Should Know About Asset Division

Divorces can be incredibly complex, and asset division can be the hardest part. Everyone has something specific that they want to keep, for whatever reason. And asset division can make the dissolution of a marriage a very emotional game of revenge. It is important to know what is available to you. Not only will this help you talk to your attorney, but it will also help you in the negotiation process. You might not want to keep everything you can, so trading something you care less about for something you do want

Asset Division

Asset division can be the most trying part of the divorce process. This can be especially hard if there is any property such as a home or rental properties that you may purchase during the union. The last thing you want is a battle, but during a divorce, these items tend to cause one. The complication of the monetary value of these assets shouldn’t be your only focus. You might want to consider some of the ways the assets will pan out in the future, both for your goals now and in many years coming. Some of these items garner more in costs, taxes, and liquidity of assets than they are worth.

Separate Property

Your state’s laws determine separate property, so the actual specifications and parameters vary. However, the basic concepts are:

  • Property that was in ownership of either spouse before marriage. If you had a home before the inion, it is likely you will walk out with it. The property must have some documentation that can show when it came into ownership; such as a receipt. If you received it in a will, that paperwork would suffice, as well. Sometimes just photographic evidence is enough.
  • An inheritance received by either spouse. Whether you were married when you received an inheritance holds little value. If you were given something, it is yours. If it was given to you as a couple, it is something that will have to be settled in mediation or court.
  • Third party gifts. If something was given to you, it is yours and not to be considered in the asset division. If your aunt gave you a ring, it is yours and not something that has to be considered for the division. However, if you received a pressure cooker for a wedding present, it was for you both. And that is something that has to be considered in the asset division.
  • Payment from a settlement. Receiving money for a personal injury means that it is yours. It is paid to you, specifically and is meant for your use in medical needs. This is something that you are not obligated to share with your spouse. Because you were the one who was named in the documentation, it is yours. If you were both named, it needs to be considered in asset division.
  • The title is in your name. If you had a car or home in your name, it is yours. If you retitle it to share, it is part of  the asset division. Once you retitle it, it becomes marital property. This is most frequent with bank accounts. A chacking or savings that add a spouse is now marital property. Whether you have had it since college has no bearing.

Marital Property

For the most part, anything that is acquired during the marriage is considered marital property. There are few times it matters who owns it or how it is titled. That means that if your spouse acquired assets during the marriage, you are entitled to them. If they were acquired during the marriage, the court or a mediator will decide how the asset division will side. This process is never easy and someone always loses. However, it is necessary and you need to decide which battles to fight. There might be more than you lose or let go than you want, but the important part is to keep the things most valuable to you. When this is all done, you can move on and acquire other things. You can read more about it here.

Because the laws on asset division vary by state, it is best to have an attorney. They will help you understand what your options are and what you just can’t have. This will be invaluable during the negotiation process. If your spouse wants the house, but you need to keep the car; this is a good negotiation point for you. It is something that the right lawyer will be able to execute without losing too much leverage with other assets. These cases require a bit of finesse during the negotiation process and you don’t want to go through it alone. You need someone who has negotiated many cases like these before and has an in depth undertanding of asset division. You can start your search here.