Before navigating property division during a separation or divorce, establishing clear priorities is crucial. Property division can be complex, involving emotional, financial and practical considerations. As a result, if you don’t have a clear sense of what you want to achieve at the end of the process, you’ll be less likely to secure the most favorable outcome.
Understanding your legal rights can help you set realistic expectations and make informed decisions. Therefore, it’s a good idea to start by clarifying whether any property that you and your spouse own is likely to be classified as “separate.” Any separate property most likely will not be subject to division, which makes defining other priorities easier.
Crafting clear, informed priorities can help
When crafting a property division strategy, your financial security should be a top priority. This involves more than just dividing assets; it also means considering the long-term financial consequences of your decisions. As such, you’ll want to focus on assets that provide financial stability, such as retirement accounts, investments and income-generating properties, while keeping the tax implications of any assets that you opt to keep in mind.
Real estate, particularly a family home, often represents a significant portion of marital assets. Deciding whether to keep or sell a family home involves emotional and financial considerations. Assess the affordability of maintaining the home and whether it meets your current and future needs before committing to a particular approach.
Finally, keep in mind that property division isn’t just about assets; it also includes liabilities. Ensure that debts are equitably divided. Understand the implications of taking on joint debts and make sure to transfer the debts that each party assumes to their own name. Otherwise, you could remain liable for debts that your spouse has assumed and vice versa.
The idea of letting any of your marital assets go may be understandably challenging. By focusing on which assets matter most to you, you can craft a property division strategy that is most likely to support your financial and overall well-being.