When a marriage ends, the couple should legally end the union as well through a divorce. However, the divorce process can prove adversarial for many reasons including the fact that both parties may fail to agree on the division of assets and debts. For many couples, the division of property is usually a nightmare. In most cases, the couple cannot come to a consensus on the right way to go about splitting the assets. According to the law, a property is defined as anything of value or anything that can be purchased or sold. This may include marital residence, bank accounts, investment property, vehicles, furniture and household furnishings, stocks and bonds, life insurance and much more.
In the event of a divorce, the law requires that an equitable division of property. As a couple, your property should be divided equally in the case of a divorce. The property division should not favor a single partner and in the case of such a scenario, the court may call for a revision. However, there should be nothing to fret because dividing marital property is nothing complicated. In equitable division, there are some factors that determine the manner in which the property shall be divided, and they include:
- The length of your marriage
- The age of the spouses
- The amount of income brought to the marriage by each party
- Any drafted agreement made by the couple before the marriage pertaining property division
- Marital debts and liabilities
- The current value of the marital property
Apart from the factors that determine the way property shall be divided, these are some basic guidelines that can go a long way in simplifying the divorce process.
To begin with, the couple needs to establish all the property to be split between the two, including all financial assets and debts. In the event of a divorce, you are not just deciding who goes with the house and who takes the car, you are also dividing all your financial holdings including any joint bank accounts, credit cards, and any debts. The best way to go about this is to sit down together, with your respective counsel if need be and come up with a list of all you own and what you’re paying off. Do not forget to include your belongings, however, small they may seem to be.
Once you have developed a list, go ahead and list your individual property. However strange it may seem, there are valid reasons behind this. Don’t forget that the aim is to have an equitable division in your divorce hence there is a need to isolate what belongs to you or what you can use as a bargaining chip if your spouse disputes the proposed division of assets.
Once everything has been listed and valued, the property can be divided into fair increments. If it proves difficult to divide things down the middle, juggle the assets. For instance, if your partner is getting the house which of course has a high value, pick a few pieces of furnishings or let them absorb more of the debt in return for the high-valued home.