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Moving On and Dividing the Items: Divorce does not need to be Stressful

16th Jul 2018

Once you arrive at the decision to divorce, the next natural step is deciding how you will split the assets from your marriage. This is where much of the legal wrangling and stress of divorce is experienced.

With the right approach, however, dividing items during divorce can be accomplished fairly and amicably.

Know the laws in your state

In most states, the laws for dividing marital property are based on equitable distribution. If your divorce progresses to the point where a judge has to decide who gets what, then the judge will divide all property (and debts) fairly but not necessarily equally.

The division is made based on factors such as each party’s earning power and their financial needs (current and in the future). The judge will also take into consideration whether there are any children involved and who has primary physical custody of them. An experienced divorce attorney, like KM Family Law in Minnesota, would be able to guide you through all the elements up for consideration.

The division of property in divorce is handled differently in Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. In these states (and in Puerto Rico), judges divide marital property in accordance with community property laws which dictate that the division is made equally between the spouses.

Don’t hide your assets

It is illegal to hide assets to keep them from being considered during divorce proceedings. If it is revealed that you have hidden assets, the judge may decide to penalize you for it. For instance, you may be ordered to repay any expenses your spouse incurs while trying to locate your hidden property.

Instead of hiding assets, some persons choose to undervalue them. This is also illegal, as is conspiring with your boss to delay a bonus or raise which is due to you until after the divorce is finalized.

What’s the best approach? Once you and your spouse decide to terminate the marriage, then you should both try to find some time to make a list of all marital property. Reveal all assets so that they may be added to the list, then go through it together and decide who gets what.

Hire a lawyer

Even if you do not think your spouse is hiding assets and you are both able to amicably agree on how to split property, it is still a good idea for each of you to hire a divorce attorney. That way, there is someone knowledgeable about divorce laws and proceedings whose primary focus is looking out for their client’s best interest.

With lawyers going over the details of your divorce settlement, you are more assured of reaching an agreement that is fair to both of you. You are also less likely to have your divorce end up in court.

Marriages break down for many different reasons and quite often, divorce is the only viable option left for spouses to pursue. Much of the bitterness which often plays out in divorce can be avoided by you and your soon-to-be ex if you both decide to play nice!

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