When you and your partner end a marriage, there are quite a few details that you need to work out. One of those details is asset division. After years of marriage, you might have a hard time splitting up your assets. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be as difficult as you imagine. Here is everything that you need to know about asset division during a divorce.
What Is Asset Division?
Asset division is the process that occurs during a divorce case. There are two ways that asset division can occur. First, there’s an agreement that you and your partner create. If you and your partner can come up with terms that you agree upon, then you can divide assets yourself. However, some couples can’t agree on the terms of asset division. When this occurs, they might need to go to court. In court, a judge will determine who gets what assets.
For the easiest option, you should try to work things out between yourselves. You could even opt to work through your lawyers. In some situations, you could benefit from using the mediator. Whatever process you use, the result can be the same. You can divide your assets in a fair way that works for both parties. Instead of relying on a judge to split things up, you can work out the situation on your own.
If you go to a judge, then his decision is final. Whether or not you agree with the splitting of assets, you don’t have a say. All that you can do is to hope for the best.
Types of Assets
In a divorce case, there are several types of assets. The assets that you divide are usually community property. For example, your home, your debt, and your earnings are all community property. If you acquired an asset after your marriage, then it is likely to be community property.
Separate property is not part of the asset division. If you have separate property, it is likely that you entered the marriage with the asset. It can also include an inheritance or gift that someone left solely to you. If you vested a pension before your marriage, then it is separate property. Likewise, any property that an individual bought with his own finances is separate property. During the course of your marriage, separate property could become community property. It can be difficult to understand which assets are community assets and which are yours to keep.
Who Gets What?
If you go to court to divide your assets, then you must follow state laws. States either have an equitable distribution of property, or they split property based on community property. In the case of equitable distribution, the court divides the assets. However, you should not expect a 50/50 splitting of assets. Equitable distribution refers to the fair distribution of assets. Although it needs to be fair, it does not need to be equal.
In court, you nor your lawyer can know what to expect. When it comes to splitting assets, the law is vague. Often, the division is left to the discretion of your judge. It’s not about the law as much as it is about money and negotiations. By putting your assets in the hands of a judge, you put them at risk.
Even if you want to split your assets out of court, the process can be difficult. You should work with a lawyer to ensure that you don’t miss any assets. Additionally, a lawyer can help you ensure that you get a fair split.
The Challenges With Asset Division
There are several challenges with asset division. Here are a few of the most common challenges:
1. Making a Fair Split
Asset division is not a physical division. Instead of divvying up your assets, the court could give you a percentage of the total value of your assets. This complicates things.
Instead of going to court, you could handle the situation with your lawyers. This makes it easier to determine a fair split. However, you might still have trouble divvying up items like furniture and electronics.
2. Vehicles and Houses Can Be Tough to Split
Some assets, like vehicles and houses, are particularly tough to split. It’s not as simple as selling the asset and dividing the profit. One person might want to keep the house or the car. Then, that makes the split more difficult. One partner might need to buy his half of the car or house from the other partner.
3. Emotional Attachments Complicate Things
If you have an object to which you have an emotional attachment, then you might give it a high value. However, that value doesn’t indicate its physical worth. Your emotional attachment complicates asset division.
No divorce is easy. Your assets can make your divorce even more of a challenge. If you’re going through a divorce, then you deserve all the help that you can get. A divorce lawyer can help you through the difficult process. With a little help, you might be able to get through the process quicker and with less pain.