A divorce can be an incredibly stressful time for couples today, and the conversations surrounding dividing property can prove incredibly challenging. After going through the heartbreaking decision of splitting up, you then need to decide how to split your assets between the two of you. As a divorce real estate expert, today I’m going to share with you the top considerations to keep in mind when dividing property during a divorce.
Try to Reach an Agreement Together
Splitting up property is incredibly personal to each couple, and it’s always best to work together alongside a divorce attorney to try and come to a conclusion about what works best for the two of you. While you can take the case to court and let a judge divide up your property, ultimately, you both know your individual circumstances best to divide everything up. Start by creating a list of your assets, and then begin the process of splitting these up between the two of you. You can then compare your personal lists and see if there are any areas of disagreement you can work through together. Throughout this process, both of you need to be honest about your personal assets and ensure nothing is left undisclosed. When it comes to the value of items, courts usually consider the fair market value instead of what you paid for the property or item originally.
Receiving a Valuation for Your Property
A divorce realtor can assist with valuing your property so that you know the fair market value for each asset you are dividing up. For smaller items, such as vehicles or antiques, you can either look online or hire an appraiser to give you a fair valuation for your items. If you are struggling to come to a conclusion about what various assets are worth, we encourage you to use an independent appraiser to settle any arguments. On top of this, ensure you are both aligned with what is considered marital and separate property and keep proof of receipts or fund transfers to back this up.
Consider Debts as Well as Property
When selling a home during divorce, couples sometimes often forget to take into account any marital debt. This could include your mortgage, tax debt, or car payments, which will need to be split between the two of you during the proceedings. If you have a credit card that’s only in your name and was just used for your personal purchases, this will likely fall into your hands to pay off. When you have a contract that is only in your name, such as for a credit card, you will need to ensure your spouse continues to pay the percentage assigned by the court as you will be the one who receives the poor credit score if it’s not paid off.
At this point, hopefully you’ve been able to separate your property without too many arguments. A divorce attorney can help you to create a property settlement agreement, which will list every asset or debt, and state who is the owner of each one. They can help double check this if you have any concerns before it’s presented to the judge. Usually, this will be honored in court, but sometimes it will require further investigation if the splitting of the assets seems uneven.
During every step of the process, a divorce attorney can guide you to ensure you are protecting yourself for your future. Of course, you may need to take your case to court if you cannot agree on dividing your property together. For more information about dividing property during a divorce, don’t hesitate to contact me today, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.