You’ve decided on divorce, but you have concerns about how your assets will make it through the process. While the Courts will require a division of the marital estate, the actual process can often be a bit more complicated.
A Judge will be looking for an “equitable division” when addressing your property by considering needs and contributions to the household and where necessary, an exhaustive look at your assets. But before they draw the lines, you have the power to get organized and prepared.
There a few steps to take before the actual division can begin
Identifying Assets: First, you will need to provide a list of assets for the Court to consider. This can include simple items like your bank and brokerage accounts. It will usually also include more complicated matters, like retirement accounts, deferred compensations and business stakes.
Valuing Assets: Again, identifying what you have in the bank is not too difficult. But on more complex holdings, you’ll have to do some math. The Courts will probably require evidence of investment values, improvements to real estate and eventual payouts on pensions.
Dividing Assets: Once all your assets are properly organized and identified, the final step will be to determine what is applicable for division.Separate assets are often yours to keep, while marital assets may need to be split.But it’s not always so cut and dry.You might assume an asset is separate because you owned it before marriage, but if you bolstered an investment with household income or your partner dedicated time to the business you started, your assets might intertwine.
Defining your equitable portion of shared assets can be a fairly complex problem to navigate. Knowing how the process can play out might be a step toward understanding how the Courts will treat your property and give you time to prepare.
Consulting with an experienced Family Law Attorney familiar with complicated property division will prove critical to both the efficiency of settling ultimate resolution of your case.
Contact the Law Offices of Lisa A. Ruggieri today for a consultation to ensure you are properly prepared to navigate your divorce.