Dividing property in divorce is a difficult and often confusing process for many people. Many factors may influence what is fair and equitable in an individual case. Dividing assets and debts often requires more analysis than merely creating a spreadsheet to identify market values of all of the assets and performing simple math to obtain a result. Emotions often kick in, which may complicate the decision-making process. Listed below are three things to keep in mind when dividing assets during the divorce process.
Determine what is most important
Every divorce involves its own dynamics. While you may have friends who have gone through divorce, the decisions that they may have made may not match your goals. Determining what is most important for you is vital to achieving a successful divorce settlement. For instance, when it comes to the family home, consider your post-divorce budget. Fighting to keep the home only to later find that you cannot afford the maintenance costs can create unnecessary stress in the future. On the other hand, if you plan to be the custodial parent of minor children, keeping the home may be a great comfort for your children.
Make every effort to keep emotions out of the dispute
Many divorcing spouses are burdened with a variety of emotions that can cloud the decision making process. The loss of trust, the potential animosity you feel for your spouse, and fear over what the future may hold should not be a part of your goal-setting process. Moreover, putting your sights on an asset for the main purpose of taking the asset away from your spouse when you really have no interest in the object may not be the best use of resources. Instead of spending money litigating to keep something away from your spouse, focus on seeking assets that you may need, and those that will provide you with stability.
Evaluate all of your options with the future in mind
The material assets that you and your spouse have accumulated during your marriage likely come in a wide range of forms. As you split the assets, it is important to remember that you are choosing the assets that will serve as the foundation of your financial future. What is fair and equitable in divorce is not always an even 50-50 split based on the raw numbers. It is critical to speak with your divorce attorney and other professionals, such as a financial planner, to understand the nature of various assets. For instance, an investment account may carry tax implications that will dilute the market value if you seek to liquidate the account.
When ending your marriage, keep in mind that your post-divorce life can be strong and bright. While moving through the process to a brighter tomorrow, keeping grounded can help you navigate through the divorce. Setting goals based upon an honest self-assessment of your true needs and desires can get you started down a smoother path to the future.