3 Things to Consider When Dividing Property in a Divorce
Most newlyweds do not often think about divorce, it is a topic often far from mind when you are still living through your honeymoon bliss. However, divorce is an unfortunate reality for many. As sad as this situation may be, it is important that you consider the terms of your marriage and the effects that divorce might have should this terrible situation come to pass.
The division of property during a divorce can be one of the most divisive and complex tasks involved in the legal ending of a marriage. In an ideal world, you could simply come to a mutually beneficial compromise and part ways without too much legal leg work. When that is not possible, both individuals may have to high attorneys to negotiate on their behalf. There are three factors that normally play into the dividing of assets during a divorce.
- The Type of Divorce
Couples who are willing to work together may find that they have options regarding the type of divorce they would like to go through with.
In an uncontested divorce, couples come to an agreement regarding the division of property. The papers are then filed to the court and no formal trial is held. This is often a much cheaper route, as it does not involve attorneys or drawn out legal battles. Going through with an uncontested divorce may also help avoid long fights and can be a very quick, clean and simple solution.
In a contested divorce, couples cannot come to an agreement regarding the division of property. This is what most people imagine when they think of a divorce scenario. In a contested divorce both parties are represented by an attorney. A judge is also involved to oversee the case until it meets its conclusion. A contested divorce can often be a long and costly affair that can take a toll on both parties involved.
There are other types of divorce that fall in the middle between these two. Those couples, who disagree on some aspects of the division, yet agree on others, could receive representation by legal counsel without incurring the full costs of a trial.
- What Kind of Property You Own
The division of property will generally be divided according to the laws of your respective state. The division of property will depend on whether you reside in a separate property state or a community property state. The division of property in your state is a point of law.
Separate property is property that only belongs to one spouse. This includes anything they owned before the marriage as well as any gifts or inheritances that were given to that them. As well as the proceeds of a pension that vested before the marriage.
Community property is everything that was earned after the commencement of the marriage. Money that was earned during the marriage falls under community property. Property that was purchased using both separate and community funds generally falls under community property.
- The State You Currently Reside in
Property is divided by courts through either equitable distribution or community property. Debts are divided the same way. Depending on where you live property is divided by one of these two ways.
In Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Puerto Rico, community property is followed. This means that all married property is regarded as either separate or community. Community property is divided equally between each spouse, and each spouse keeps their own separate property.
In all other states, equitable distribution is followed. This means that all property accumulated during the marriage is divided equitably. A spouse may be ordered to use separate property to make the settlement fair.
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