For many divorcing couples, dividing property, such as residential house, furniture, car, can be a very difficult process. Anything you owned before the marriage, or anything you inherited during the marriage will not be counted as marital property.
The best way to get rid of this problem, is to sit together and then decide who gets what. But, it is not always possible because of a dispute, ability to compromise. In that case, both spouses have to hire a attorney who will negotiate on their behalf, and then the judge will divide the property. The following tips should be considered while dividing assets and property:
1. MAKE A LIST OF THINGS: If you and your spouse have decided to divide the property yourselves, then first make a list of all the items that you own jointly. You can omit personal things, or which are of insignificant value. Then proper valuation should be done, to ensure that you get your fair share of marital assets. If you have any real estate together, it should be valued by a real estate appraiser. And, if there are other valuable assets, they should also be valued properly by an authorized person. If you and your spouse manage to divide the property on your own, then the court generally gives quick approval.
2. HIRE A MEDIATOR: However, it is not always possible to divide the property among yourselves. In that case, you should always hire a mediator. A mediator will help you to get rid of the complex situations, that may arise during the division of marital property.
3. DON’T FIGHT OVER SMALL THINGS: You may be emotionally attached to a particular thing, like that autographed painting on the wall, and feel that it should go to you. But the judge wont care how emotionally you are attached to any object. He will take into consideration the assets that you acquired during message as property, and then divide them as per the rules and regulations. It is essential to let go of such things, and not fight over such petty issues.
4. DO NOT HIDE ASSETS: Hiding your assets is the worst thing you can do during the division of marital property. From the time you marry your spouse to the day the divorce is final, you have a ‘ fiduciary duty’. If you violate this duty to your spouse, you may face legal consequences. You may be compelled to pay legal expenses to your spouse, or even forced to give up to your spouse the assets you tried to hide. You will also lose credibility with the judge.
5. CLOSE JOINT BANK ACCOUNTS: In case you have a joint bank account with your spouse, you should close it immediately. As per some laws, you have to wait for some time before you can close the bank accounts. However if you are eligible, it is advisable to do so. You can divide the money equally with your spouse. In this way, you will make sure that your money is protected and your spouse cant spend it.