When you and your spouse decide to get a divorce, one important aspect of the process is the division of assets, specifically tangible property. In many states, all property is considered community property despite who paid for it during the marriage. The following are some ways to help ease the process:
Create a List
Before anything else, make a comprehensive list that shows all property the two of you share. This includes your home, vacation homes, vehicles, investments, valuable jewelry, and the like. It is helpful to keep like items together as one item, like a set of living room furniture, so that it can go as a set. Be sure to include everything you own that needs to be divided. If you are not upfront and your spouse finds out, you can be subpoenaed.
Estimate the Value
The next thing you need to do is give each item on your list a value. Keep in mind that your property is depreciated, unless it is a valuable collector's item. You do not need to assign a value of a brand-new item to something that is used. To get the best value, you can reach out to a professional to assist you. Realtors, jewelry collectors, car dealerships and the like can give you an idea of what some of your property is worth.
Divide Your Property
You now need to talk about how you are going to divide your property. There are a variety of ways you can do this. You can each allow the other to take the things that are of obvious importance to that person. For example, if you own a boat together and you have no interest in using it, you could allow the other to take the boat as long as you get an item of the same value. This is best done in relationships that are amicable.
If this is not possible, there are some other ways you can divide your property. The easiest thing to do is sell as much of your property as you can and then split the profit down the center. If you are certain there are some things you want to keep, you can involve a mediator to help you make the decision.
Once you have divided your property and made it official on paper, you will need to have everything approved by the family court judge. This way, items will be deemed legally yours and there will be no problems later on. Contact a divorce lawyer for help.