Divorce and Separation – Factors That Matter Most When Dividing Properties in Divorce

When two people file for divorce, they need to decide who will get the home and how much they will pay for it. Since the house is considered a marital asset, it has to be split equally. The court may award joint custody of the children to one spouse or may assign legal custody to the other spouse. Child support is a legal obligation that each spouse must pay. However, the court must consider many factors before determining the exact amount. Listed below are some common questions about the division of marital assets. o Assets – Before you file for divorce, it is important to list all of your assets. Failing to do so can result in penalties and could even make your case reopened. It is also illegal to conceal assets to avoid property division. Also, you should value the property you plan to divide. The fair market value is a great place to start, but if you own a house, you will need to hire an appraiser to ensure you’re getting the right amount. o Property division – Divorce property division is a difficult task. Although it is possible to divide assets and debts between spouses, a lot of things can get complicated and you may end up in court with a lopsided split. Depending on your state of residence, you may also need to hire an attorney or go to court to determine the right division of your property. It’s best to get a lawyer to help you with this process and help you avoid any costly mistakes. o Fault – Some states consider fault in determining spousal support or property division. Although this is rare, you should be aware that some courts will consider your fault in determining the terms of the divorce. In some cases, you’ll need to file a separate legal action in the other state. A court may also consider fault in determining how to split marital debts and property. The court will consider all of these factors when determining your spouse’s property and debt. o Bank accounts – Even though most couples have a joint bank account, it’s a good idea to create a comprehensive list of all joint accounts. Then, note which accounts you and your partner jointly own. If your partner is willing to share credit card or other account, you can close the joint account together. But if your spouse is reluctant to agree to this, you may be stuck with nothing. So, be prepared with a list of all bank accounts and credit cards. o Separate property – The courts recognize separate and marital property as separate. Separate property is property that each partner brought into the marriage. It is separate if the value of the property does not change significantly during the marriage. However, separate property is not always excluded in a divorce settlement, and may be included in a decision regarding spousal support. The judge may also consider other factors in deciding the division of property. […]