How to Divide Your Assets During a Divorce
Divorce brings with it many changes. You might be moving to a new home, a new job, and a new city. You might be making new friends and participating in new activities. You're learning what lawyers actually do during the divorce process and you're discovering that sometimes, something that should be simple can quickly become quite complicated. One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is the division of assets.
Whether you've been married for six months or six years, chances are that you and your partner have accumulated many shared belongings during your time together. This could include smaller purchases, such as CDs and books, but it can also include large assets, such as houses or cars. If you've never dealt with a separation before, you might be surprised just how much work goes into dividing assets. Fortunately, even if you've never experienced this before, there are several things you can do to streamline the process.
Determine whether you live in a communal property state
The first thing you'll need to do is determine if you live in a communal property state. If you do, the division of assets must be equal. Communal property basically means that everything you and your spouse own is shared equally. This includes financial assets, debts, and physical belongings. In a communal property state, everything purchased or acquired after marriage is considered to be shared by both parties. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. If you purchased something prior to your marriage, for example, that may be considered yours. Similarly, if you were gifted something by a relative or received an inheritance, you may not be required to share this with your spouse.
Gather receipts and proof of ownership
During the division of assets, gather as many receipts and proofs of ownership as you can. This includes property deeds, vehicle titles, bank statements, and credit card statements. Having all of these items available when you meet with your spouse will help expedite the process of separating your assets. Note that if you've lost the deed or title to a major asset, you can request a new one for a fee, so you don't need to panic if you're having a hard time gathering all of the information you need.
According, 123 Divorce Company, a divorce firm in Dallas, TX it’s imperative to know what you have and keep track of it, but also know what your partner has or is doing with their assets. Often times spouses will attempt to hide assets to prevent you from any claim to them. While it’s always best to speak with an expert, they list 6 ways to tell if your spouse is hiding assets during a divorce.
Set up a time to meet with each other
While you might not want to speak with your spouse, it's important that you set up a time to meet with them. You'll need to discuss how you want to divide your assets and belongings. Your spouse may have a lot of opinions on what you each receive, or they might not even care. Discuss how you'll separate things that may have been purchased together, such as your television set or computer. You'll also want to decide who gets major assets, such as the house. To simplify this process, many couples choose to sell major assets and split the earnings.
Utilize a mediator if you need to
Mediators exist to help you communicate when talking is difficult. During a divorce, you're likely experiencing many different emotions and feelings. These are all normal. If you and your partner are struggling to communicate in a way that is safe, healthy, and effective, hire a mediator to help you during this time. They'll be able to help pinpoint problem areas in your communication and will assist you in determining how you'll divide your assets.
Remember that no matter what you're feeling during this time, you aren't alone. Divorce is a very common experience. While things might feel incredibly difficult at this time, remember that the sooner you divide your assets, the sooner you'll be able to wrap up your divorce and move forward with your life.