How to Handle Your Property in a Divorce

Divorces are rarely easy and unfortunately involve difficult discussions and tough decisions. 

In the United States, divorce is also known as the dissolution of marriage. It is a legal process wherein a judge or authorized person dissolves the bonds of matrimony existing between two persons, thus restoring them to the status of being single and allowing them to marry other individuals. Marriage and divorce do not fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government, but instead the state government. The biggest shared asset for most relationships is related to the fair division of property and real estate. 

Ideally, the divorcing couple can decide and work together on how to split up debts, assets, and property (with or without the help of a mediator). However, when that’s just not possible because of a complex issue or dispute, both spouses can submit their property dispute to the court, hire attorneys, or divorce financial planners to negotiate on their behalf. 

Depending on the type of property, the courts divide property under one of the three basic schemes: Community Property, Separate Property, or Equitable Distribution Property. Additionally, the state the property resides under also dictates the division of property between the couple. Each state varies its rules when it comes to the division of assets and property in a divorce. 

  • Community Property – All property of a married person earned or acquired during their marriage. Usually, property like a house is generally considered community property.  States like Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Washington use community property regimes. 
  • Separate Property – In general, the separate property belongs to only one spouse. It could be something they owned prior to getting married, gifts, pension, or inheritances that was vested before the marriage.
  • Equitable Distribution Property – In equitable distribution, states divide assets and earnings accumulated during the marriage equitably or fairly. To make the settlement fair to both spouses, some states may order one spouse to use separate property to divide equitably. 

Some Steps to get Started for Couples Trying to Divide their Property Themselves:

Start by listing all belongings that the couple owns jointly. The next step involves assigning a value to each piece of property. Often when there is a house, a business, or other items that are difficult to get an opinion or value, it is best to find an authorized authority to help. It may help to assign each piece of property to go to a logical owner. Getting the judge’s approval will be the last step, wherein the court approves whatever agreement the couple has reached. 

The process of dividing and distributing real estate property between former spouses can be a complicated and stressful experience. It is advisable and wise to hire an experienced and competent divorce financial planner to assist with taking the case to court or negotiating an appropriate resolution.

Blake Mortgage has an experienced team that can help and provides information about dividing property during divorce. If you’re struggling to amicably come to an agreement with regard to your property, get in touch with Blake Mortgage right away.