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Avoiding Problems When Dividing Marital Assets

Divorcing your spouse can be a difficult process, both financially and emotionally. If a large amount of money is involved, the divorce can be even more cumbersome. Often, the division of property during a divorce can result in a heated battle.

However, there are ways to avoid problems and amiably divide the marital assets. Here are a few of them.

Abide By The Prenuptial Agreement

If you have a prenup in place, the division of the property may flow smoothly throughout the divorce proceedings. A prenuptial agreement allows a couple to determine what assets will not be divided during a divorce.

This type of agreement is usually recommended for a person who enters a marriage with a substantial amount of personal property. Without the prenuptial agreement, the property that a person has acquired before becoming involved with their spouse may be considered as a part of the marital estate. Still, in order for a prenup to be valid, the signing of the agreement should not have involved pressure or force, and the court must consider the terms to be fair.

Divide Assets Equally

Once the assets have been identified, a couple can decide to simply split them equally. Assets may include cash, retirement benefits, stocks, automobiles, real estate, jewelry, and any other property of value. As each asset is given a monetary value, it becomes easier to divide the marital estate equitably.

To obtain cash for some of the assets, the divorcing spouses may sell the items and then divide the profits. However, if the selling of the items is time-consuming or difficult, the couple can decide who would like to retain specific items, dividing the assets between the spouses until the sum of each person's assets is basically the same.

To balance the assets, one spouse may even choose to retain a debt that both spouses were previously responsible for. By retaining the debt, the spouse lowers the value of their assets and may ask to assume a larger portion of the marital property. A spouse who is assuming full ownership of the family home may also decide to take on the remaining mortgage debt.

The division of property between divorcing spouses does not have to be combative. Although agreements are usually formed privately, a legal mediator can help ensure that the process runs smoothly and fairly. If you are planning to divorce your spouse, schedule a consultation with a family attorney in your area. The legal professional can help you navigate the divorce process properly.