One of the biggest challenges of divorce is deciding who gets what. Both individuals are hoping to secure as many assets as possible, so this can lead to a variety of challenges that are difficult to overcome.
You can ease the pain by creating a property division checklist. Not only does it provide guidance through your divorce, but it also ensures that you don't overlook anything of importance.
Your property division checklist won't look the same as someone else's, but there are some basic categories you can use to better organize the information.
- Personal property: Examples include artwork, antiques, jewelry, clothes, home furnishings, collectibles, electronics, china, guns, home office equipment, motor vehicles and boats.
- Real property: Examples include the family home, rental property, vacation homes and business property.
- Financial assets: Examples include bank accounts, retirement accounts, pensions, stocks and bonds, cash, profit sharing, mutual funds, certificates of deposit, trusts, annuities and life insurance cash value.
- Business assets: Examples include business equipment and business real estate.
It can take a good amount of time to make note of all your assets, as there may be some that you don't think about often. The work that you put in up front will help you avoid a mistake that costs you time and money in the future.
What about debt?
It's common to focus more time on property division than debt division, but both deserve your attention.
You may be carrying multiple types of debt with your soon- to-be ex-spouse, such as:
- Car loan
- Personal loan
- Home equity line of credit
- Credit cards
Just the same as assets, these require division during your divorce. It's important that you don't add to your debt load once you decide to divorce, such as by continuing to use joint credit cards. This can add confusion to an already challenging process.
A property division checklist does not guarantee that you'll efficiently move through this part of your divorce, but it definitely puts you in better position to do so in a timely manner.
With this in hand, you'll have a clear understanding of what to negotiate, how to compromise and the basic steps required to protect your legal rights.