Understanding The Basics Of How Assets Are Divided In A Divorce

A divorce can be a difficult process for many people, which is why it’s so important to understand how assets will be divided. In this article, we’ll cover some of the basics involved in dividing up assets and explore some ways you can protect your interests and rights during this process.

What Are Assets And How Are They Divided In A Divorce?

When two people get married, they combine their possessions. These are called assets and can include business property, real estate, bank accounts, retirement funds/accounts, and personal property, like vehicles, etc. Assets that are acquired prior to the marriage are considered separate property. Holdings gained after marriage but before divorce are considered marital property. Possessions brought into a marriage by a spouse also form part of marital property. These assets could be inherited money or an inheritance from a deceased parent’s estate. Also included in this category are bonuses or gains on stocks received through employment after getting married. 

Assets purchased with one spouse’s separate funds are not divided unless there is a joint and several liabilities between both spouses for the asset. Holdings procured by one spouse in exchange for a separate property are generally considered to be marital property, too. Assets acquired after separation but before the divorce is final are also divided during the process of division.

The Process For Dividing Assets 

All income-producing properties will need to be valued. These include real estate investments, stocks or bonds, business property, or other income-producing or contributing properties. Assets like these are typically evaluated by a financial professional who has experience in valuing and selling businesses and analyzing the worth of different types of investment portfolios. According to the attorneys at Charles Ullman & Associates, when dividing assets during a divorce, a divorce lawyer will walk you through your options and explain the process. It’s important for you to understand what is going on behind closed doors as far as how your spouse values different possessions since this can affect your settlement negotiations and the final agreement if you go through contested divorce proceedings. 

The Division Of Property In A Divorce 

The division of property in a divorce is often based on equitable distribution, meaning that the court will attempt to divide holdings as evenly as possible. If both spouses contributed equally to the marriage and have performed different types of labor while married, this becomes less significant for determining how properties are divided. There may be instances where retirement benefits or inheritances are not divided since they don’t fall under marital property laws and can’t be included in an equitable distribution package. 

The Division Of Debts In A Divorce

The division of debts in a divorce is handled the same as it is for assets. Assets and liabilities are paired up, and the total amount owed by one spouse will be offset against the debt owed by the other spouse. This means that if your spouse has six figures worth of debts, but you have seven figures worth in possessions, you may still be on the hook for some of that debt, even if your name isn’t on any accounts or loans. You’ll need to negotiate how much liability you’re willing to take on before proceeding with a divorce, which brings us to our next basic principle:

The Importance Of Getting Professional Help During The Divorce Process 

Whether you decide to go through contested or uncontested divorce proceedings, it’s important to have the right professional help from a divorce lawyer or financial advisor who has experience with asset division and divorce proceedings. An experienced family law and divorce attorney knows how to deal with your spouse’s legal team and prepare you for settlement negotiations to ensure a successful outcome as far as your assets, debts, and liabilities are concerned. You’ll also need someone on your side who can bring up any concerns you may have about the value of a certain property, business, or investment after a financial advisor does an evaluation since this is another area where attorneys will not hesitate to get involved if they feel it is necessary. 

Assets, debts, and liabilities are often divided as evenly as possible through equitable distribution. Assets may not be included if they do not fall under marital property laws or have an unequal contribution to the marriage. Experienced divorce lawyers Melbourne will help you go through contested divorce proceedings by providing settlement negotiations and preparing you for how your spouse values different assets that affect the final agreement in a divisive divorce proceeding.