Dividing Property During Divorce: What You Need to Know
When divorce happens, many partners struggle to divide property evenly, and if one person put in more money than the other, it can get complicated. In the best situation, the divorce is amicable, and you are happy to split the property evenly, or in a way that works for you. Here is everything you need to know about dividing property during divorce.
Types of Property
One of the first discussions during a divorce, either with your lawyer or with your spouse, should be property division. At the end of the day, the two of you can split the property how you want, if you both agree to these terms. This is called an uncontested divorce and will cost the least money in legal payments and court fees. If you can work it out between the two of you, this will save you the most cash and make the divorce a quicker process.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and contested divorces are more common that you’d think. Property can be split between separate and community property. Separate means any property that only belongs to one spouse, such as inheritance or something owned before marriage, which can be proven in court. Community property refers to anything you bought or acquired together during marriage, including money from employment put into the same account and a house bought together, with both names on the deed. If you are worried about the cost of an unamicable divorce, take a step back and try to take the situation amicably.
Depending on the state you reside in, the property laws may be different. In some US states, property is classed as separate or community and split just so. If your state follows these laws, both spouses take an equal amount of the community property and each spouse will keep their own separate property. In most of the US states, any earning and assets are added together (whether community or separate) and then divided fairly.
Fairly does not necessarily mean equally, and this may depend on a number of factors including any separate property owned. The court can ask one spouse to use some of their separate property to make the divorce fairer for both parties. If you need more information, check out the laws in your state or ask your attorney.
Calculating Property Assets
The first thing you need to do as a couple, if possible, is to list all the belongings that you own together. You don’t need to list everything, if you can agree on items that belong to one another such as gifts or things of insignificant value, you can leave this out of the asset calculation. Value each piece or property, whether this be a car, house or business. If you own a lot of assets, it can be much more confusing, and this is where a professional divorce attorney should get involved, as they can help with high asset property division.
When you marry, the last thing you consider is how you will split assets and property if you get divorced. This guide can give you an understanding of how you may split property and how it works in different US states. For more information, speak to a trusted divorce attorney who can help you get your property in order.