Are you preparing for the divorce process? Do you have concerns about property division? Are you hoping to devise a strategy that allows you to keep as many of your assets as possible?
You need to remember that while you have hopes of keeping your assets, so does your soon-to-be ex-spouse. For this reason, you need to be 100 percent prepared for the property settlement phase of your divorce.
There are many ways to prepare yourself for dividing your property, including using a checklist that outlines all of your marital assets and resources.
It should be noted that assets that you brought into the marriage should not be subject to the property division process, except in limited circumstances.
How to create a checklist
Not all couples have the same assets, but you need to consider everything that is marital property. Here are some categories that can help guide you when making your own checklist:
- Real property. This includes your marital home, vacation property, undeveloped land and rental and business properties.
- Personal property. Typically the most significant part of a property division checklist, this includes items like china, crystal, antiques, artwork, collectibles, jewelry, rugs, guns, computers, electronics, motor vehicles, boats and home office equipment.
- Financial assets. The assets within this category are often the most valuable, as they can include bank, retirement and educational accounts, cash, stocks and bonds, mutual funds, life insurance policies, annuities and trusts.
- Business assets. If either partner has any interest in a business, this category could be relevant.
You will also want to include a general category for any assets that don't fit into one of the "big four."
Making a property division checklist can provide the organization you need to take the necessary steps during this challenging time of your life. Divorce is an emotional upheaval, but divorcing spouses must remain focused on leaving the marriage in the best position possible.
During the divorce process, there will be times when you have to compromise. But when you feel strongly about retaining a particular resource or marital asset, it is imperative to launch a logical and cohesive legal strategy that will likely resolve the matter in your favor.