You might realize that you have to divide everything when you’re going through a divorce, but you may not understand just how involved this is until you’re already in the midst of the process. Most people try to focus on the larger assets. This is understandable but you can’t overlook the smaller ones either.
It is best to go through the process thinking logically instead of emotionally. This gives you the chance to determine how each proposed split is going to impact your future.
Start off with the bigger assets and write them down. These are things like real estate, vehicles, investment accounts and retirement accounts. Even checking and savings accounts should be included. Make a note of the value or balance of the account so you know where they stand.
Once you have the bigger assets down, start thinking about the smaller ones. Things like furniture, collectables and other similar items. Write these out and try to think of what they’re worth.
Consider the specifics of each one
When you look at the list, you might come up with your ideal split for everything. This isn’t likely to happen since you and your ex have to either negotiate the settlement or turn to the court for the division. Even though you can’t just divide things in the way you want them, it will still help you to know about the specifics of each item.
Some assets come with upkeep expense and other costs. You have to think about your new budget to determine if you can reasonably afford them. For example, a home comes with a mortgage payment, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and maintenance costs. You have to factor all of these into your budget if you think you want to hang onto the house.
Don’t forget the debts
Property division becomes more complex when you start to think about the marital debts. These have to be split up during the process. It might be easier to think of these as a balancing factor for the other assets. Just make sure that you don’t get stuck paying higher debts and end up with assets that aren’t helping you to do this.
Whether you have a high-asset complex divorce or a simpler one with fewer assets, you need to ensure that you’re protecting your interests throughout the process. This means carefully considering the options that you have for splitting everything up.