Many couples find asset division difficult during a divorce. If you aren't careful, you can easily walk away with less than what you deserve after the divorce. The following tips will help you simplify your asset division process during your divorce.
Cancel All Joint Lines of Credit
As soon as you are sure you are headed for a divorce, you should cancel your joint lines of credit, irrespective of who initiated the divorce process. Canceling the joint lines of credit will prevent your partner from incurring further debts in your name before the divorce is finalized.
Remember, though, that both of you will be liable for debts you incurred during your marriage; it doesn't matter who actually signed for the money. But if you must apply for credit during your divorce process, apply for new credit cards in your name only before the divorce is finalized.
Know Your Rights
You can’t get your fair share of the marital assets if you don't know what you deserve, legally speaking. Many spouses don't know whether they are entitled to assets in their partner's name. The truth is that you may or may not be entitled to properties in your partner's name, depending on a few factors.
Your state's laws and the circumstances under which your partner acquired the assets determine whether you are entitled to a share of the assets. For example, you may be entitled to a share of a property in your partner's name if your partner bought the property with marital money. A divorce attorney can help you clarify which of your partner's assets you are entitled to.
Understand the Value of Your Assets
You should also understand the value of your marital assets to help you negotiate for an accurate division. You should be particularly careful with items whose values are not obvious or easy to determine. For example, most people are better at guessing used car prices than prices of artwork, such as paintings, or businesses, such as restaurants.
As your divorce lawyer will probably tell you, you should appraise valuable assets before dividing them. Although you will have to pay the appraisers, you stand to recoup the appraisal fee when you divide the assets based on their true values.
Consult Relevant Professionals
Many people understand the value a lawyer during a divorce, but the lawyer isn't the only professional who can help you with your divorce. In fact, your lawyer may be the one to advise you to consult other professionals and suggest people you should seek for help.
The specialty of the exact professionals you should consult depends on the nature of your assets. For example, you may need to consult a tax advisor if you want to divide some stocks and shares and you want to understand the tax ramifications of the division options at hand.
Factor in Asset Depreciation and Appreciation
When dividing assets, you should not just focus on their present values, but also their future values. After all, some assets appreciate in value, while others depreciate after some time. Some of the assets that typically appreciate in value include artwork, real estate property, and shares. Some of the assets that typically depreciate include cars, boats, cash, and electronics.
Track and Preserve Financial Documents
Lastly, you also need to track down and preserve your financial documents such as tax returns, title deeds, receipts, and others. You need such documents to prove ownership of the assets, the value of the assets, and even the existence of the assets, among other things. For example, you can use the transfer documents for an inherited car to show that it is your separate property.
As you can see from the above tips, you need to do a lot to safeguard your finances and assets during a divorce. At The Madden Law Firm Attorneys At Law, we understand that a single mistake can cost you thousands of dollars during asset division. Contact us so that you don't experience such a costly mistake during your divorce.