As you prepare for divorce, matters regarding property division are sure to flood your mind. While you won’t get every last asset in your divorce, there are steps you can take to protect your legal rights and position yourself for future success.
When it comes to marital vs. non-marital property, here are some of the most important questions to answer:
- What is the difference? Marital property is property that you jointly own with your imminent ex-spouse. Non-marital property, also known as separate property, is property that you own alone. For example, if your motor vehicle is titled in your name only and you brought it into the marriage, it’s not subject to property division.
- What’s the best way to prove that an asset is separate? This is where good record-keeping comes into play. Sticking with the example above, collect any proof that you’re the only one who has ever paid for your vehicle. Adding to this, a copy of the title is critical.
- Who will get the family home in divorce? For many divorcing couples, it’s the family home that’s their biggest asset. If one of you wants to stay and the other is okay with leaving, this makes things easier. However, if both of you want to remain in the home, you’ll have to find common ground, such as selling the property and splitting the proceeds.
What about debt?
Just the same as marital and non-marital property, your debts take on a similar look.
It’s critical that you also understand which debts are joint and which debts are separate. For example, a joint credit card is joint debt. However, if your spouse brought credit card debt into the marriage, they may be 100% responsible for it in the future.
When you answer these types of questions, among any others that are on your mind, it’s easier to prepare for the division of assets and debt in divorce.
With proper preparation and realistic goals, you’ll feel better about your ability to protect your legal rights. And when you do that, your financial life after divorce will be much more stable.