If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, you will soon approach the complex world of property division.
The more assets you have, the more complicated this phase of your divorce becomes. Something as basic as making lists will help you simplify the process and enable you to face property division with greater confidence.
Understanding assets and debt
Marital property includes items you acquired or purchased during your marriage. Separate property is anything you owned before marriage or that you inherited or received as a personal gift. These are your assets. Property division also addresses your debts and liabilities, such as joint credit card accounts, mortgages and bills for any services or goods that you and your spouse purchased during your marriage.
Both you and your spouse should have a complete accounting of your property. Since a value must be attached to each asset, you may have to engage the services of an appraiser for certain items. In addition to your marital home and your vehicles, think about other assets. This is where making a list is very helpful. Examples include:
– home furnishings
– antiques, artwork and collectibles
– computers and home office equipment
– clothing, furs and jewelry
– checking and savings accounts
– 401(k) plans, IRAs and pensions
– stocks and bonds
– certificates of deposit
– intellectual property
– business interests
Give your lists to your divorce attorney but keep copies for yourself. It takes time to put lists of assets and debts together, but you will appreciate the effort you made. Becoming organized in this way will make property division an easier, more streamlined process.