One of the biggest issues in divorce is division of marital property and marital debt. Property division is supposed to be equitable and you and your spouse should have a complete list of all of your assets and debts.
Of course ‘equitable’ division sounds like you just split everything in half and go on with your lives, unfortunately, what is ‘equitable’ is often up for debate and can become a significant portion of your divorce negotiation. It can take a lot of time and money to divide up property; you can save time and money by making sure you have a complete list of all your assets and debts.
How is property and debt divided?
1. Make a list of all your property and debts that are jointly owned between you and your spouse.
2. Get your property properly valued. For example, you must get the marital residence appraised by a professional appraiser. Some other examples include:
- Real Estate Appraiser of any marital property; or property that might be considered marital property.
- Business valuation.
- Pension valuation.
- Estate valuation.
- Sometimes experts need to be hired to determine values of property, such as businesses, professional practices, 401Ks, IRA’s, mutual fund portfolios and jewelry.
3. Divide the property. If the parties cannot agree, the court will step in and decide.
4. Divide the debt. If the parties can’t agree on this, the court will decide this in a manner similar to property division.
It’s important to take a long and hard look at your property and debt as it relates to your current situation, but more importantly as it reflects how you plan to continue on with your life, including retirement, purchasing a new residence and things like paying for your children’s college.
If you are thinking about divorce or are going through a divorce, we can help. Please call me at 866-981-7888 or email me at Jessica@JessicaFoleyLaw.com to set up a consultation.