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Dividing Assets During Divorce

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Dividing Assets During Divorce IMAGEAs if the emotional and familial fall-out from divorce wasn’t enough, there’s also the issue of what to do with all your things when you decide to split. For a couple that’s been together for several years, this can be a complicated process. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “first marriages that end in divorce last about 8 years, on average.” This is plenty of time to accumulate enough stuff to make the thought of ever having to divide it all rather daunting. And it’s not just the actual possessions in your home that will have to be considered—dividing assets includes “houses, rental property, retirement and pension plans, stock options, restricted stock, deferred compensation, brokerage accounts, closely-held businesses, professional practices and licenses, etc.,” according to the Huffington Post. If your divorce isn’t amiable—which, let’s face it, they rarely are—this can be an even more complicated process.

The first step in any divorce is to contact a lawyer, and even if the divorce IS amiable, you’ll each need to hire a separate attorney. Then you’ll have to decide just what is communal and what is separate property. All communal, or marital, property is on the chopping block to be divided. All separate property is yours to take, without consideration of your ex. So what’s considered marital and what’s considered separate? According to the Huffington Post, separate property includes (but is not limited to):

  • any property that was owned by either spouse prior to the marriage
  • an inheritance received by the husband or wife
  • a gift received by the husband or wife from a third party
  • payment received for pain and suffering portion in a personal injury judgment

And yet if you owned your house before your marriage and then re-titled it to include your spouse, it’ll likely be considered marital property. The same goes for an inheritance deposited into a joint bank account, according to the Huffington Post.

Dividing property, or determining what can be divided, is just one of the many steps in the divorce process. Don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated divorce attorney at The Mevorah Law Offices LLC today.

Image courtesy of arztsamui / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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