08 Feb Splitting Assets After a Divorce
When you and your partner go through a divorce, there are a few key issues that you need to discuss. One of those issues is splitting assets. Deciding who gets what is no easy task. After you live with someone for years, your assets become joint assets. Often, people stop thinking in terms of “mine” and “yours.” For that reason, dividing your assets can be difficult. Find out how the splitting of assets occurs and what you can expect in your divorce.
Understanding How Splitting Assets Works
You and your partner can try to split your assets without going to court. To do so, you need to sit down together and determine who gets what assets. In some cases, both parties hire a lawyer. By negotiating asset distribution through a lawyer, both parties can come to a legal agreement. Then, they can avoid leaving the decision up to the court. It saves time, money, and leaves you less at risk for a bad outcome.
Divorce mediators are a great way to settle asset disputes. Instead of going to court, you and your partner hire mediators. The mediators find out what assets need to be divided. Additionally, they get all the documentation they need to determine who owns what assets. They might also rely on depositions from other people to determine ownership. Through the mediation process, the mediator helps you come up with a decision that is fair for both individuals. Once again, this serves as an alternative to going to court.
In the US, 90% of divorce cases don’t go to trial. For the most part, they use
Turning to the Court
If you and your partner cannot agree on a way to divide your assets, then the court makes that decision. In different states, there are different laws regarding the division of assets. Before your divorce, you should learn your state’s laws. This can let you know what to expect if you go to court.
If you do end up leaving the decision in the court’s hands, then you are taking a risk. A judge makes the decision and might not split the assets in a way that you desire. Depending on the state you live in, the asset division might not seem fair to you.
What Should You Do?
Next, you need to make a list of your assets. Before you speak to your lawyer, you should have a comprehensive list of your assets. If you and your partner are on speaking terms, then try to make a list together. This ensures that you don’t forget anything. On the list, be sure to include your home and any joint property. You should also include all of the following:
- Your vehicles
- Bank accounts and their balances
- Stocks, bonds, and other securities
- Any valuable collectibles like coin collections or antiques
- Household items
- Retirement plans
- Recreational vehicles like boats and quads
Tips for Splitting Assets
If asset splitting sounds complex, then that’s because it often is difficult. Here are a few tips that could help you settle your divorce out of the courtroom.
1. A Home
If neither you nor your partner want to keep the home, then you can sell it. Dividing up the asset is as simple as dividing the selling price in half.
In some cases, one partner wants to keep the home while the other does not. If this is the case, then one partner can buy out the other partner’s share of the home.
2. A Vehicle
You can handle your vehicle division the same way that you handle your home. If possible, the easiest way is to sell the vehicle and divide the sale price in half.
Artwork and collectibles can be particularly difficult to divide. Often, they have sentimental value in addition to monetary value. The easiest way to handle this asset division is to sell everything and split the proceeds.
4. An IRA
Unlike cars, collectibles, and property, IRAs require a little more action for an equal division. You might need to transfer funds to your partner’s existing IRA. In some cases, you might need to set up a new IRA and transfer over some of your funds. If you try to distribute the money rather than transfer it, you could incur penalties and taxes.
Often, one spouse prefers one piece of furniture while the other prefers another. When you’re splitting assets in your home, you can give the furniture a value. Then, you and your partner can choose the items that you want and make sure that is equal in value.
When All Else Fails
If you do need to settle the issue in court, then there are a few things that you need to do. First, you need to find a lawyer. It’s important to look for one who has experience in local divorces. If you choose an out-of-state lawyer or one with no experience in divorce law, then you risk a bad outcome.