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Property division steps: The basics

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2024 | Divorce

Going through a divorce generally requires the division of all assets that were acquired during the marriage. This can be a long and drawn-out process, especially if there are considerable assets involved.

It’s crucial that anyone who is going through this process understands the basics that can have a considerable impact on the outcome. Because these are complex situations, it’s best to consider them logically and with a minimum of emotional involvement.

Determine what qualifies as marital property

Only marital property is divided during divorce. This includes assets and debts. Just about everything amassed during the marriage is martial property; however, the presence of a prenuptial agreement can change this. Certain assets, such as those owned before the marriage, inheritances and gifts given to only one person is considered separate property that’s not divided in divorce.

Assess the value of assets

All assets must be valuated during the property division process. While some property values can be determined without a formal valuation, other property will require professional appraisals. Often, property like real estate, retirement accounts, investments and vehicles will need a valuation.

Think about the tax implications

Tax implications are possible in some cases. For example, there are penalties for trying to transfer qualified retirement plan without a qualified domestic relations order. Capital gains taxes are another consideration to think about during the property division process.

Include debts and liabilities

Equitable division of property also includes the division of debts and liabilities. This includes mortgages, credit card debt and student loans. Both parties must agree on who will be responsible for each debt. Ensuring that liabilities are fairly allocated can prevent future financial disputes and protect your credit.

Plan for future financial needs

Consider each party’s future financial needs when dividing property. This includes assessing earning potential, retirement savings, and the ability to maintain the current standard of living. Spousal support or alimony may also be a factor in ensuring financial stability post-divorce. Planning for long-term financial security is crucial for both parties.

Effective communication and negotiation are vital for an equitable property division. Openly discussing your financial situation and priorities with a skilled legal team can help facilitate compromise and agreement. Mediation or collaborative divorce processes can provide a structured environment for negotiation.