Divorces have the potential to be incredibly traumatizing and difficult. However, they can also be quick and painless if both parties want it that way. Here’s what you and your spouse need to know about the division of your property during a divorce.
The Type Of Property
As you can probably guess, the types of property you are dividing in your divorce will determine how things proceed. Different states have different rules when it comes to determining property types. The way that different property types are handled will also vary from state to state. If you are consulting with a divorce attorney, make sure they have experienced handling cases in your state.
If you and your partner are aiming to work through things yourself without calling on an attorney, you should both investigate the laws in your state and establish what type of property you are dealing with.
Non-marital property is one that only belongs to one spouse. These properties are usually homes owned by one party prior to their marriage. Any property you receive as a gift or inheritance before your marriage is classed as separate property.
On the other hand, marital property is property owned equally by both spouses. Marital property also includes anything that both spouses acquired during their marriage. Pay cheques that have been deposited into a joint account are also regarded as shared marital property.
The State You Live In
Because the precise legal classifications of different property types vary from state to state, you will need to find out the guidelines for your state if you want to know how the courts are likely to divide your property.
In the case of an amicable divorce, you should both divide as much of your property as you can without requiring court intervention.
In some states, marital property is defined as Community Property. This designation means that the property is equally divided between the spouses, with each individual keeping their separate property.
If the state uses a different classification system, it will most likely be using equitable distribution.
Equitable distribution considers all assets earned throughout a marriage and divides them fairly. However, a fair division is not necessarily an equal division. For example, one spouse may be allowed to keep the marital home while the other spouse receives financial compensation for their property share.
Should You Divide The Property Yourself?
If you and your spouse are still on good terms, dividing up your property on your own is a much less stressful experience than having a judge do it. For spouses who are willing to work together through the divorce, the willing division of property will save numerous headaches and acrimonious feelings.
Dividing your property yourselves also enables you both to decide who should get what. Judges don’t know your history or background; their decisions can appear heartless without this context.
No couple likes to envisage divorce, but it is something everyone should be prepared for. Having a plan for an amicable divorce will make things much easier on you, your partner, and any children you have. Dividing up your property is just one part of the puzzle.