There is no denying that divorce is difficult. Whether contested or mutually consented to, when ending a marriage it can be really difficult to see beyond our emotions. Often times because of this, people do not give much thought to the division of their property until after a decision has already been made. Though not necessarily irreversible, settlement agreements are tough to amend. It is much easier to fight for the settlement you want during the divorce proceedings, than to ask for an amendment after the ink has dried.
What’s Mine is Yours: The Division of Marital Property
It is extremely common for married couples to co-mingle their finances and assets. From bank accounts to mortgages, to other loans, many married couples take things on jointly. Therefore, dividing marital property becomes much more difficult. However, there are some things that can still be done to improve the outcome of a divorce settlement.
- Keep Copies of All Financial Records
There is nothing more stressful than looking for something after it is already needed. When a couple divorces, they are required by the court to disclose all of their personal as well as marital property. This may mean going back through past and present finances to ensure that a spouse is not merely hiding any assets. By maintaining copies of their financial records, giving one to their attorney(s), and keeping one for themselves, it allows the process of tracking down marital assets to be much easier and helps to minimize the possibility of a spouse hiding anything as much as he or she can.
- Pay Down Marital Debt
You may think that once the ink on the divorce papers are dry, but what you may not realize is that neither separation nor divorce eliminates the responsibility of joint debts. A couple need not still be together for a creditor to collect from either individual or both individuals. Although it keeps both parties accountable, this risks the possibility that one ex-spouse may intentionally fail to make payments for the sole purpose of doing financial harm to the other partner. That’s why it is best for couples to pay off as much marital debt as possible prior to the divorce going through.
- Come to an Agreement Concerning Joint Accounts
As with marital debt, the use of credit accounts can have a profound financial impact on both former spouses. These credit accounts should not be used without the permission of the other partner. Though it is likely wise for both parties to open up their own individual accounts, should they continue to rely on joint accounts for purposes of support, they should first discuss and determine any stipulations for their use.
Understandably, the more marital property that a couple owns, the more difficult it is to decide on how to equitably divide said property. That is why it is extremely important for couples who are considering divorce to speak with their own separate attorneys in order to learn what is most beneficial to them. Contact the Law Offices of Peggy A. Roston to schedule a consultation today.
Posted in: Divorce